Applying Geographic Information Systems to ecosystem services valuation and mapping in Trinidad and Tobago

Andrea Ghermandi, John Agard, Paulo A.L.D. Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consideration of the spatial dimension in the provision of ecosystem services is fundamental for the calculation of the economic value of ecosystem services and the distribution across beneficiaries and ecosystems. In the context of Small Island Developing States, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago are characterized by a rich natural capital, which lies at the source of the provision of all ecosystem services. Such natural capital, however, is threatened by a range of anthropogenic pressures. This paper builds upon state-of-the-art benefit transfer techniques and Geographic Information Systems to provide the first maps of the value of three key ecosystem services in Trinidad and Tobago. Result estimates indicate that the mean value of carbon sequestration by terrestrial and coastal ecosystems amounts to 65 US$/ha/year. Mean values for coastal recreation and shoreline coastal protection are estimated in 6468 and 924 US$/ha/year, respectively. We discuss how this spatially explicit valuation exercise may feed into Trinidad and Tobago’s National Spatial Development Plan, thus contributing toward a more sustainable use of the country’s natural capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-306
Number of pages18
JournalLetters in Spatial and Resource Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Ecosystem services
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Meta-analysis
  • Spatial economic valuation
  • Value transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics


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