Economic valuation of the eco-systemic benefits derived from the environmental asset lake Laguna Santa Elena, through the multi-criteria analysis

Abstract Lake Laguna Santa Elena, a freshwater body, located in mid-south of Chile, is an environmental asset used as a water resource by the agricultural and touristic sector and is the habitat for a wide variety of endemic avifauna. The objective of this study was to assign a monetary value to this lacustrine body, using the methodology of AMUVAM (Multicriteria Analysis of Environmental Active Values). The information was collected through the application of surveys to a panel of experts involved in the use of the environmental resource. The result obtained with the AMUVAM method corresponds to the US $ 17,780,686, a figure that represents an estimated value of the TEV (Total Economic Value) of the environmental asset. This study, a pioneer in the Region, will support decision making, allowing an adequate management of this critical water resource.