Demystifying series

The Valuing Nature Programme created a ‘Demystifying…’ series, bringing together experts to explain the key concepts that might cause confusion in the wider Valuing Nature community and to agree on principles of good practice.

The Demystifying Series includes:


  • Economic Valuation      
  • Health  
  • Health Metrics
  • Cost Benefit Analysis   
  • Green finance
  • Shared and Social Values
  • Valuing Arts and Arts Research  
  • Interdisplinary Working                  
  • Tipping Points


Abstract Summaries 

Demystifying Economic Valuation

This paper brought together volunteers from the economic valuation community to agree on a principles paper that can be used to communicate with other disciplines and the users of the economic value evidence.

Over 120 volunteers from the economic valuation community were involved in preparing the paper which demystifies the main issues, questions and principles surrounding economic valuation and is designed as an overview for those new to economic valuation.

Link to Demystifying Economic Valuation paper.

Demystifying Health

This report in the Demystifying Series on Health from the Valuing Nature Programme discusses the contested and complex concept of ‘health’ reflecting on the many different definitions and conceptualisations. 

A group of 80 contributors provided input to the community report which was led by Rebecca Lovell, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School.

Link to Demystifying Health paper

Demystifying Green Finance

This publication is intended to be a first port of call for finance related terms, key players and links to further reading and initiatives.  It aims to shed light on what green finance means, where it sits wihtin the wider finance and investment sector, how to defind and measure impacts and associated returns from it, and to help improve understanding of what investors consider an investable project.

Link to Demystifying Green Finance paper

Demystifying Health Metrics

This report is the fourth in the Demystifying Series, and aims to unpack quantitative measures of health & wellbeing to demonstrate the value of the natural environment for human health & wellbeing for the natural capital community. It provides a synthesis and integration of knowledge and understanding from multiple disciplinary perspectives including policy, practice and academic sectors.   

Link to Demystifying Health Metrics paper

Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost Benefit Analysis is the main tool economists use to analyse these trade-offs to support decisions.  This demystifying paper is for those who would like to have an introduction to this analysis.  It covers the basic steps of CBA and puts it in the context of policy and public sector decision making in the UK (including the Treasury Green Book). Different applications of the analysis are covered and examples provided.

Link to Cost Benefit Analysis paper

Demystifying Shared and Social Values

Shared and social values have been recognised as an important value stream within the Valuing Nature Network since its inception.  This paper introduces key concepts and approaches surrounding shared and social values for, of and about the natural environment. It was authored by Jasper Kenter with the support from 45 collaborators

Link to Shared and Social Values paper

Valuing Arts and Arts Research 

This report discusses the role of the arts, artists and arts research in addressing complex landscape, environmental, and valuing nature research questions and problems.  It provides an account of what creative practice has brought and can bring to research.  It will be of benefit for all those who are interested in developing research collaborations that involve researchers from the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences and experts from policy and practice.

Link to Valuing Arts and Arts Research paper

Demystifying Interdisciplinary Working (in Valuing Nature)

With the growing need to find solutions to the myriad complex issues the world is facing, transformative approaches are needed.  Although thinking in individual disciplinary terms is as crucial as ever in order to progress specialist approaches, to address the complex technical, societal and environmental challenges we also need to break down the disciplinary silos, think outside the usual boxes, and bring a broad range of approaches together to best understand and provide solutions to these challenges.  This report, aimed at a broad audience of both specialists and non-specialists with an interest in working beyond the traditional boundaries, provides a summary of what one need to know to undertake interdisciplinary work. 

Link to the Interdisciplinary Working (in Valuing Nature) paper

Demystifying Tipping Points and other forms of abrupt ecosystem changes

This, the final of the Demystifying Series, provides a simple explanation of the concept of the 'tipping point' for policy-makers and practitioners involved in safeguarding and restoring nature and who may be well-placed to address tipping points,  but may not necessarily be well versed in the science behind it.   Tipping point in it's simplest form it is the point at which cirtical mass is reached - and in this report the reader is taken through tipping points as they apply to the climate system, ecosystems and ecosystem services, and socio-ecological systems, providing examples and addressing the application of evidence in policy and practice.  

Link to the Demystifying Tipping Points paper