Valuing Marine Ecosystems - Taking into account the value of ecosystem benefits in the Blue Economy
, European Marine Board,
Adriana Ressurreição and
No vy3kp, MarXiv from Center for Open Science
The main aim of this publication is to highlight the current thinking in ecosystem service valuation for the marine environment. Valuation of the benefits stemming from marine ecosystem services, including often unnoticed benefits to society, can help to assess the long-term sustainability of blue growth, support policy development and marine management decisions, and raise awareness of the importance of the marine environment to society and in the economy. Recommendations are made on how to incorporate outputs from valuation studies into the traditional analyses used in resource and environmental economics and into the European marine policy landscape and related management and decision making choices. The publication is primarily aimed at stakeholders interested in valuation of marine ecosystem services and natural capital accounting, spanning diverse roles from commissioning, managing, funding and coordinating, to developing, implementing, or advising on, marine ecosystem service and natural capital programmes. Such programmes will have strategic and policy drivers but their main purpose may vary from predominantly research driven science to provision of valuation data and reporting to legally-binding regulations or directives. The main focus is on European capabilities but set in a global context with the various actors spanning a variety of geographical scales from national to regional and European. Key stakeholder organizations include environmental or other agencies; marine research institutions, their researchers and operators; international and regional initiatives and programmes; national, regional and European policy makers and their advisors. It will also be of interest to the wider marine and maritime research and policy community. The publication recommends: 1. Marine ecosystem valuation should be used to support policy making, regulation and management and decision making; 2. The quality and availability of monetary and non-monetary valuation data should be improved and increased through research, development and implementation actions; 3. The spatial and temporal dimensions of ecosystem valuation need to be mapped and their implications for policy and management decisions assessed; 4. In order to strengthen the use and derivation of ecosystem service values to support policy, regulation and management, underpinning research and development actions should be undertaken: a. To improve understanding of the role of marine biodiversity and ecosystem processes in providing services and benefits; b. To improve modelling approaches to support ecosystem valuation and decision making; 5. Systems to enable and use marine natural capital accounting and enhance the experimental ecosystem accounts should be further developed and implemented including: a. A natural capital portfolio approach utilising existing marine data sets and assessment results and addressing scale and aggregation as well as ecosystem degradation; b. Valuation methods for both ecosystem services and assets that can be standardised and are compatible with National Accounting; c. Payment for marine ecosystem services and other financing mechanisms to restore marine natural capital and improve its sustainable use.
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