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Economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystems:Is it currently fit for purpose?

Nick Hanley (), Stephen Hynes, Niels Jobstvogt and David M. Paterson
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Niels Jobstvogt: Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability, University of Aberdeen
David M. Paterson: Scottish Oceans Institute,School of Biology, University of St Andrews

No 2014-11, Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics from University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development

Abstract: In Europe, as in many other parts of the world, an increasing number of coastal and marine policies require or encourage the use of environmental valuation and cost-benefit analysis. This means that policy-makers and regulators are placing increasing demands on economists to supply such values for use in policy analysis and management. There has also been a growing emphasis on basing environmental management and policy analysis on the ecosystem services approach (Fisher et al, 2008; UK NEA, 2011; Keeler et al, 2012). The consequence of this is a parallel requirement to link ecosystem function and service flows to environmental valuation. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether ec onomists are in a position to deliversuch evidence for use in policy analysis, in terms of the conceptual basis of valuation, the availability of the scientific evidence that is required to implement valuation methods, and the existing data base of economic values. The focus of the paper is on the European policy arena, but most of the issues discussed apply equally to other locations. We approach the question in three ways. First, by reviewing existing European legislative drivers for increased use of valuation in coastal and marine policy; second, by reviewing the existing body of evidence on ecosystem and biodiversity values related to the coastal and marine environment in the EU and third, by considering whether both the economic valuation framework itself, and the scientific evidence required for its implementation, is “fit for purpose” and capable of meeting the needs of regulators.

Keywords: ecosystem values; marine values; deep sea; salt marsh; off-shore renewables; marine biodiversity. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q51 Q54 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
Date: 2014-12
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