Impacts of deforestation in Colombia


Combining Terra-i and Co$ting Nature to examine ecosystem service impacts of deforestation in Colombia

By Mark Mulligan, King’s College London

Co$ting Nature

Co$ting Nature is a web based tool for natural capital accounting and analysing the ecosystem services provided by natural environments (i.e. nature’s benefits), identifying the beneficiaries of these services and assessing the impacts of human interventions.

This policy support system (PSS) is a testbed for the development and implementation of conservation strategies focused on sustaining and improving ecosystem services. It also focused on enabling the intended and unintended consequences of development actions on ecosystem service provision to be tested in silicobefore they are tested in vivo .

The PSS incorporates detailed spatial datasets at 1-square km and 1 hectare resolution for the entire world, spatial models for biophysical and socioeconomic processes along with scenarios for climate and land use. The PSS calculates a baseline for current ecosystem service provision and allows a series of interventions (policy options) or scenarios of change to be used to understand their impact on ecosystem service delivery. We do not focus on valuing nature (how much someone is willing to pay for it) but rather costing it (understanding the resource e.g. land area and opportunity cost of nature being protected to produce the ecosystem services that we need and value).

Though we provide input data for application of this model anywhere globally (from remote sensing and other global sources) users can also use this model with their own datasets. Application with the provided datasets takes only half an hour and requires no Geographical Information Systems (GIS) capacity. Bringing in your own datasets will take much longer depending on the availability, level of processing, format and consistency of those datasets and also requires GIS capacity.

Typical applications include ecosystem service assessment, conservation prioritization, analysis of co-benefits e.g. for REDD+ and analysis of pressures and threats on carbon and biodiversity in general or for specific planned agricultural, industrial or extractive interventions.

Deforestation in Colombia 2004-2015


Read the full article: DAPA-CIAT

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.