Assessment of changes in ecosystem service monetary values in Mozambique

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Land cover change has been negatively affecting the provision of ecosystem services (ES) to satisfy the increasingly global demand of goods. ES valuation assessments may provide relevant information to policy makers about natural capital, being one potentially effective way of achieving sustainability. In this work GlobCover land cover data was utilized to identify Mozambique's biomes between 2005 and 2009. A benefit transfer approach was used to estimate the values of the services delivered by the ecosystems. It was found that the Cropland biome increased its ES value considerably between 2005 and 2009 due to the increase of food production, as agriculture is considered the key factor for reducing poverty in the country. In contrast, the Grass/Rangeland area fell substantially in order to support the increase of the Cropland and Forest biomes. Niassa and Gaza provinces contributed the most to the loss of Mozambique's ES value. Mozambique's total ES value was estimated in 5,054.4 × 10^6 US$ for the year 2009, representing a variation of -11.4% since 2005. Despite this decrease, the ES value for 2009 was still about half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the year 2009 (10,910 × 10^6 US$). This information may contribute to the development and monitoring of policy instruments that consider ES provision. Additionally, they can also be used to call for the importance of considering ES in national well-being accounting, and for going beyond GDP as a national welfare measure and policy goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-22
JournalEnvironmental Development
Early online date12 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Africa
  • Benefit transfer
  • Biomes
  • Ecosystem services valuation
  • Land use/land cover change
  • Natural capital


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