Ecosystem services and environmental benefits in livestock systems: Definition of terms, and valuation methods
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Flórez, J. F. Louhaichi, M. Yigezu, Y. A. Abdrahmane, W. Worqlul, A. Hassan, S. Belgacem, A. O. Sandoval, D. Junca, J. J. Notenbaert, A. Karanja, S. Burkart, S. (2023) Ecosystem services and environmental benefits in livestock systems: Definition of terms, and valuation methods. Cali (Colombia): CGIAR Initiative on Livestock and Climate. 10 p.
Livestock systems, as socioecological entities, contribute diverse ecosystem services and environmental benefits. In this brief, we define seven prioritized ecosystem services and three environmental benefits within livestock systems. To comprehensively evaluate their ecological, economic, and social value, we introduce the integral valuation method. This method enables a nuanced assessment of ecosystem services and environmental benefits, facilitating benefit-cost analyses for potential interventions in livestock systems. Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) emerges as a crucial tool for evaluating the financial viability of interventions in livestock systems. Utilizing the benefit-cost ratio (BCR), derived by comparing total benefits to total costs, BCA aids in decision-making regarding the economic feasibility of proposed interventions. In the context of livestock systems, the BCR considers the investment required for interventions and quantifies benefits through increased income and improved ecosystem services. This integrated approach enhances economic assessments, supporting more informed decision-making. Recognizing the multifaceted importance of ecosystem services for livestock systems, including livelihoods, biodiversity, water resources, cultural values, and economic stability, we emphasize the need for their sustainable management. The integral valuation method serves as a comprehensive approach to incorporate the value of ecosystem services and environmental benefits into the financial assessments of livestock systems. This collaborative effort, supported by various OneCGIAR initiatives, aims to enhance understanding and facilitate data-driven decision-making. This initiative will contribute to informed decision-making on restoration initiatives, aligning project objectives with potential returns on investment for sustainable livestock farming models.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge 
Ouled Belgacem, Azaiezhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5946-7540