Using Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) to Value Nature in Decision Making
To achieve sustainable development, there is a pressing need to move beyond conventional economic measures like gross domestic product (GDP). The authors have developed gross ecosystem product (GEP), a measure that summarizes the value of the contributions of nature to economic activity. The work to develop GEP builds on prior work to develop integrated environmental–economic accounts, the System of Environmental–Economic Accounting, whose definition of accounting value the GEP follows, and the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting. The authors illustrate the calculation of GEP in Qinghai Province, China, to show that the approach is tractable both across China and globally. China is using GEP to guide investments in ecosystem conservation and restoration.