The economics of peatland restoration

K Glenk, J Martin-Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


Restoration offers opportunities for securing and enhancing critical ecosystem services provided by peatlands, such as carbon storage, water retention and water quality, and support for biodiversity and wildlife. A comprehensive valuation encompassing the relevant public benefits of restoration and how these compare with it is lacking to date, leaving policy makers with little guidance with respect to the economic efficiency of restoring this climate-critical ecosystem. Using Scotland as a case study, this paper quantifies the non-market benefits of changes in peatland ecological condition associated with changes in ecosystem service provision and depending on the location of restoration efforts. Benefits on a per hectare basis are compared to varying capital and recurrent cost in a net present value space, providing a benchmark to be used in decision making on investments into peatland restoration. The findings suggest that peatland restoration is likely to be welfare enhancing. Benefits also exceed cost in appraisals of previous and future public investments into peatland restoration. The results thus strengthen the economic rationale for climate change mitigation through improved peatland management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345 - 362
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Policy
Issue number4
Early online date19 Feb 2018
Publication statusFirst published - 19 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note



  • Benefit-cost assessment
  • Choice experiment
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Net present value
  • Peatlands


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