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Natural capital project InVEST
InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) is a suite of software models used to map and value the goods and services, which has been developed by the Natural Capital Project at the Stanford University.
Values can be expressed through biophysical indicators of ecosystem services or through economic returns.
InVEST enables decision-makers to assess the tradeoffs associated with alternative choices and to identify areas where investment in natural capital can enhance human development and conservation in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
InVEST is most effectively used within a decision-making process that starts with stakeholder consultations as suggested in the Natural capital project.
InVEST currently includes 17 models among which the following are applicable to marine environments:
“Blue Carbon” quantifies and values carbon storage and sequestration in coastal ecosystems;
“Coastal Protection” quantifies and values the benefits of nearshore habitats for coastal protection;
“Coastal Vulnerability” assesses the relative risk to coastal areas from storms;
“Habitat Risk Assessment” evaluates the risk to marine or terrestrial habitats from anthropogenic factors;
“Marine Fish Aquaculture” estimates the harvest weight and value of farmed salmon;
“Marine Water Quality” models concentration of pollutants at sea;
“Offshore Wind Energy” measures the electricity generation potential of wind over ocean and large lake surfaces;
“Scenic Quality” maps the visibility of features across a landscape or seascape;
“Wave Energy” models and values harvested energy from wave power facilities
Natural capital project crosses ecosystem benefit indicators, economic methods (InVEST software) and decision science valuation methods (adaptive co-management).
The InVEST habitat risk assessment (HRA) model was applied as part of the initial diagnosis of the ecosystem services delivered by the Golfe Normand-Breton.