Research & Education


Name Used: Education, Scientific and Research Services

Service Category: Cultural Services

Definition: Education, scientific and research services are the ecosystem contributions, in particular through the biophysical characteristics and qualities of ecosystems, that enable people to use the environment through intellectual interactions with the environment. This is a final ecosystem service.

See Valuation Methods Appendix for Economic Value, Valuation Methods, and Metrics.


Name Used: Intellectual & Representative Interactions with Natural Environment

Service Category: Cultural

Definition: Intellectual and Representative Interactions with Natural Environment refer to the varied ways in which the natural world serves as a subject or platform for intellectual pursuits, cultural expression, and aesthetic experiences. This includes characteristics of living systems that facilitate scientific investigation or the generation of traditional ecological knowledge, as well as those that enable education and training. Both are quantified by the type of living system or environmental setting involved. Additionally, characteristics resonant in terms of culture, heritage, or aesthetics are also included, measured by the same metrics. Natural abiotic features that enable intellectual interactions are quantified by their types and amounts. Collectively, these elements illustrate how the natural environment is not just a resource for material use but also a rich source for intellectual and cultural enrichment.

Economic Value Calculated: No

Valuation Methods: n/a

Metrics: included in definition

ESVD 2020

Name Used: Information for cognitive development

Service Category: Cultural

Definition: Information for cognitive development as categorized by TEEB in ESVD include Science / Research, Education, Cognitive (unspecified).

Economic Value Calculated: Yes

Valuation Methods: The ESVD 2020 report offers a total of 4,042 value estimates, with 41 specific to Information for cognitive development. See the Valuation Methods Appendix.

Metrics: $/ha/yr; ESVD is working on other qualitative and quantitative metrics.


Name Used: Research and Education

Service Category: Information

Definition: Using natural systems for education and scientific research

Economic Value Calculated: Yes

Valuation Methods: Meta-Analysis


Coral Reefs: The study by Brander and van Beukering (2013) used a function transfer method to create a generalized national estimate of coral reef value in the U.S. The model had 69 observations and an adjusted R^2 of 0.44. Variables like average U.S. GDP per capita and regional coral cover were considered. Specifically, the model focused on "research" as the primary ecosystem service variable. The value was initially in 2007 USD per hectare per year but was updated to 2021 USD per acre per year for relevance.


Name Used: Learning and inspiration

Service Category: Non-material NCP (Non-Material)

Definition: Provision, by landscapes, seascapes, habitats or organisms, of opportunities for the development of the capabilities that allow humans to prosper through education, acquisition of knowledge and development of skills for well-being, information, and inspiration for art and technological design, including biomimicry.

Economic Value Calculated: No

Valuation Methods: n/a

Metrics: Number of people in close proximity to nature; Diversity of life from which to learn


Not classified in ENCORE as it is considered a Cultural Service.

TNFD Environmental Assets & Ecosystem Services



Not classified in InVEST.

Swiss Re BES Index

Not listed as an ES category but does reference IPBES - NCP framework.

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