Estimating the values of nature’s contributions to people (ecosystem services) of urban forests and parks

Values of urban forests


This project aims to estimate the values of nature’s contributions to people provided by urban forests and parks, based on the pluralistic valuation approach adopted by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This valuation approach considers three types of nature’s contributions to people - intrinsic, instrumental and relational. However, the focus in this research is on instrumental, relational and shared values.

In order to assess these values from a pluralistic perspective, the project involves identifying the relevant perspectives to value certain urban forests or urban parks; developing the valuation framework, applying the framework and collecting valuation data specific to instrumental, relational and shared values of urban forests and parks.


Project goals:

  • The main goal of this project is to estimate the values of nature’s contributions to people (ecosystem services) provided by urban forests and parks.

As part of this project the successful PhD applicant will:

  • Select representative cases of urban forests and parks in Perth Metropolitan area
  • Identify relevant values and valuation approaches to the selected cases
  • Estimate the values using the IPBES valuation framework based on survey data
  • Estimate the material benefits of urban forests using i-Tree software

Suggested readings


Research team leader: Dr Ram Pandit

I am an environmental and resource economist, with broad interests in economics of environmental management and conservation; I am in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment at UWA. My research is focused on the economics of land degradation, threatened species conservation, protected area management, urban forestry/greenspace, and ecosystem services. I am interested in valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban and rural environments.


Funding and Collaborations

New collaborators:

    • This research would benefit city councils in managing their parks and urban forests



How to Apply 

Check criteria
  • To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
  • Requirements specific to this project - Familiarity with survey design and implementation would be a plus
Submit enquiry to research team leader 
  • Contact the research team leader by submitting an Expression of Interest form via the button below
  • After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact [email protected] to proceed with your application


Domestic students

All domestic students may apply for Research Training Program and University Postgraduate Awards (UPA) scholarships

International students

A range of scholarships are available from international organisations and governments. The full list, organised by country, is available on the Future Students website.

In addition, all international students may apply for International Research Training Program scholarships.

Indigenous students
Indigenous students are encouraged to apply for Indigenous Postgraduate Research Supplementary Scholarships.
Forrest Foundation scholarships
All international and Australian students who wish to study towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at The University of Western Australia may apply for Forrest Scholarships.

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