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Заедничка Акција за Одржлива Иднина
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Coordinated Action for a Sustainable Future

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Valuation of Ecosystem Services

Read the Report for the Valuation of Ecosystem Services of Lake Ohrid  herePDF icon

Lake Ohrid, one of Europe’s oldest and largest lakes, is a biodiversity hotspot that supports diverse ecosystems, local societies and economies. Located at the southern part of the extended Drin basin, it is shared between Albania and North Macedonia.

To promote transboundary cooperation and the sustainable management of the Lake’s resources which currently face a number of environmental challenges, the Lake Ohrid Watershed Management Plan was developed in the frame of the GEF Drin project was adopted by the littoral countries.

One of the key inputs that informed the development of the Plan was the valuation of the Lake’s Ecosystem Services. An Ecosystem Services Valuation aims to assign a monetary value stemming from an ecosystem and the services it provides, which is normally not reflected in market prices, and therefore more often than not, ignored in decision making.

Given that ecosystem services are not equally distributed in space and time, the value of these ecosystem services, as well as of the natural assets that provide them, is often overlooked. Further, current commodity markets only expose information about the value of ecosystem processes and services that are priced and incorporated in transactions, which thus poses limitations on the ability of the markets to provide a broad picture of the ecological values involved in decision processes. The logic behind ecosystem service valuation is to resolve the complexities of socio-ecological relationships, make explicit how human decisions can affect ecosystem service values, and to express these values in monetary units that allow for their incorporation in public decision-making processes.

The results of the Ecosystem Services valuation for the Lake Ohrid Watershed are summarized in the table below (click on the table to enlarge it). The total value – expressed in monetary units – of the ecosystem services of the LOW in 20171 is $295.1 mil. The unit value per area, taking into consideration the entire area of the watershed, equals $2,102/ha. Within this, the value of services of Lake Ohrid is $63.3 mil, or 21.4% of the total value; the value of services of forests, protected and agriculture areas within the watershed is $35.52 mil. (12% of the TEV); and the value of services that are related to the entire watershed is $196.55 mil, or 66.6% of the total value.


[1] Due to data availability, the analysis done are for the period 2016 – 2018. However, information on all valued ecosystem services is organized on an annual basis, thus 2017 is assumed as an ‘average year’.

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