Integrating Valuations, Markets and Policies for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (INVALUABLE)


The project’s main objective was to clarify the potential of market-based instruments (MBIs) to better integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into public policies, based on appropriate institutional arrangements. It developed:

  • An historical account of the MBIs concept, with a focus on institutions, epistemic communities, social networks and individuals that played a key role in their development or have opposed them;
  • A conceptual framework which defined MBIs, their theoretical characteristics, strengths and weaknesses;
  • An empirical account of the impacts of Payments for Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Offsets, such as changes in governance systems, effects on environmental conservation, social justice and poverty alleviation, and motivation crowding;
  • An overview of existing science-policy interface processes for MBIs at various scales (global, national, local), investigating their effectiveness through case studies; and
  • An innovative participatory modelling tool to explore scenarios of integrating MBIs for biodiversity and ecosystem services in public policy.

INVALUABLE results allowed researchers, decision-makers as well as practitioners to better grasp and clarify the MBI concept and its potential advantages and limits for biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation. This knowledge holds the potential to contribute to better design and implement fair and efficient conservation policies at the international, national and local levels.


Project dates

 November 2011 - December 2014


 View site

Research area


  • Economic Valuation
  • Market-based Instruments
  • Payments for Ecosystem Services
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Science-policy Interface

Team members

ICREA Research Professor
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