InVEST is a suite of free, open-source software models created by the Natural Capital Project, and used to map and value the goods and services from nature that sustain and fulfill human life. These tools provide a quantitative method for integrating ecosystem services, which include food production, recreational opportunities, and water purification, into management decisions. Model results can be expressed in biophysical terms (e.g., tons of carbon sequestered) or economic terms, and are spatially-explicit, meaning that they can be mapped, so that multiple management scenarios can be compared visually. The toolset currently includes eighteen distinct ecosystem services models, some of which are specifically designed for marine and coastal ecosystems.
This tool can be applied at local, regional, or global scales.