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Title: An alternative approach to biodiversity evaluation : case study in the Lower Mekong Basin
Author: Gajaseni, N.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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The study aims to explore constructive biodiversity evaluation with regard to 1) species level as species composition, species richness and species diversity; 2) ecosystem level as carbon storage and other services; and 3) human level as socio-economic aspects. These indicators are normally identified as non-monetary values and sometimes valued from an economic point of view through contingent valuation or shadow pricing. Specifically, this study attempts to quantify the value of biodiversity indicators within the ecosystem structure and function. Species and habitat diversity can represent a component of ecosystem structure and, at the ecosystem level can also represent ecosystem functions (goods and services). Carbon storage in ecosystems becomes a legitimate representation of ecosystem services related to CO2 migration, and global climate change objectives. Moreover, humans are considered as a component in biodiversity to take account of socio-economic aspects. These biodiversity indicators must be weighed equally. To assess wider biodiversity evaluation and a new alternative IA approach, these developments have been tested in a case study of the planned Ban Koum Hydropower Project in the Lower Mekong Basin. An analysis of species composition, richness and diversity showed that main effect of dam construction would be a quantifiable loss of the riparian zone and destructive of its plant associations. Construction also causes major loss of species diversity in phytoplankton and change in dominance. It is estimated that 0.66x106 tonne of stored carbon will be lost from terrestrial ecosystem through inundation but a further 3.60x106 tonne will be lost as the loss of carbon storage potential and the result of human encroachment into primary forest over a period of 50 years. This compares to a gain of 0.56x106 tonne if there is no dam construction. Depending on mitigation options, the economic value of carbon loss is $47-851 million and the carbon gain without construction would be $13-244 million. A questionnaire survey of local families before and after dam construction showed a decline in quality of life, economic security and job opportunity from the dam development project.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available