Economic Value of Regulating and Cultural Ecosystem Services of Oasean Biome: Case Study in Middle Draa Valley

Economic Value of Regulating and Cultural Ecosystem Services of Oasean Biome: Case Study in Middle Draa Valley

Ahmed Karmaoui (Independent Researcher, Morocco)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0094-0.ch016
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The oasean rangelands surrounding and the scattered steppic area, is commonly viewed as degraded landscapes. The dynamics of oasean ecosystems is indeed affected by human and climatic disturbances and stresses which induce desertification processes. In this context, the objectives of this research are to identify and quantify ecosystem services as a tool for measuring changes in arid lands. Monetization has enabled a more complete diagnosis of ecosystems and their ecosystem services. In this paper, we examine the economic value of the regulating and cultural ecosystem services provided by the oases of Middle Draa Valley (MDV), which is part of Biosphere Reserve of southern Moroccan Oasis (UNESCO). The economic values are standardized to US$ per hectare per year (2008-2010 period prices). The total value of regulating services is found to be 2478,9 US$/ha/year for the arable area (26000ha) and 43,14 US$/ha/year for the whole Middle Draa Valley (1500 000ha). The economic value of the cultural services in the arable area is 1776,8 US$/ha/year and 30,83US$/ha/year for the total area.
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Many of ecosystem services (or ecosystem functions) are critical to our survival (climate regulation, air purification, crop pollination) while others enhance it (aesthetics) (Kremen, 2005). After the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) classification, the ecosystem provides a varied range of services and dis-services to local populations, which include: provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. Daily et al (1997) had emphasized that most ecosystem services were the result of a complex interaction between natural cycles operating over a wide range of space and time scales. The status and trends of these ecosystem services vary by the type and intensity of the pressures to which they are exposed. Natural resource degradation is now manifesting in the different ecosystems. It is induced by both climatic factors and by human actions, exacerbated by socio-economic context marked by extreme poverty. Successive droughts in the study area, in recent years have also severely limited the production of the medium (karmaoui et al., 2015). The rapid increase in population in recent years (karmaoui et al., 2014) and the radical change that occurred in their lifestyle generated a strong pressure on natural resources. In fact, the oasean area (Draa Valley) is considered among the most barren of the country (Harakat 2007). The palm groves of the region recorded a constant decline of yields; they are threatened with extinction, particularly under the effect of soil degradation (Maroufi 2008). By Appling the environment vulnerability index at local scale, Karmaoui., et al., (2014) demonstrates that this area is vulnerable under climate change and anthropogenic impacts.

Ecosystem degradation of the Middle Draa Valley leads to the loss of ecosystem services and negative impacts on livelihoods. In fact, human domination of the biosphere has led to rapid alterations in the composition, structure and function of ecosystems (Vitousek et al., 1997). Interest in ecosystem services in both the research and policy communities has grown rapidly (Braat & De Groot, 2012; Costanza & Kubiszewski, 2012). Ecosystem service valuation has been a hot topic in ecological economic research (Sawut, 2013). Previous work describes and categorizes ecosystem services, identifies methods for economic valuation, maps the supply and demand for services, assesses threats to them, and estimates economic values (Daily, 1997; Daily et al., 2000; Heal, 2000; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003; Biggs et al., 2004; De Groot et al., 2012; Costanza et al., 2014).

The oasean ecosystem oasis system is organized in three cultures strata so hot and humid microclimate perfectly suitable for a relative rich biodiversity (karmaoui et al., 2015), dominated by the date palm that protects several local species from the sun.

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