Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 289–306 | Cite as

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

  • Andrea GhermandiEmail author
  • John Agard
  • Paulo A. L. D. Nunes
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Issue on Space and the Environment


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.


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

JEL Classification

Q51 Q57 



The text and figures in this paper draw on a report produced by the lead author, as part of a consultancy agreement, for the UNEP’s Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funded ‘Project for Ecosystem Services’ (ProEcoServ) implemented by the Department of Life Sciences of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad and Tobago and coordinated by the Ecosystem Services Economics Unit of the UNEP Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI-UNEP).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ManagementUniversity of HaifaMount Carmel, HaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of the West IndiesSt. AugustineTrinidad and Tobago
  3. 3.Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), Faculty of SciencesUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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