A regional Training Workshop was organized by ICARDA’s Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI) focusing on the Valuation of Ecosystem Services. The training was led by Dr. Gregory Kiker from the University of Florida (UF), and Dr. Monji Sghaier from Institut des Regions Arides (IRA), Tunisia; with support from Dr. Sandra Russo from UF and Dr. Stefan Strohmeier from ICARDA. The trainers who specialize in the bio-physical and socio-economic aspects of the topic respectively, used a multi-disciplinary approach to identify effective and efficient tools to integrate ecosystem management, economics, and socio-political factors.
The four-day training included introductory sessions on various Scenario Analysis Tools, the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-off) Model, as well as specific methods used to estimate economic values for ecosystem services. The training was useful in equipping participants with essential tools to generate the evidence that decision-makers need to understand the cost of action vs inaction, and associated trade-offs involved to make informed decisions on the use and management of ecosystems.