How do we value our reefs? Risks and tradeoffs across scales in "biomass-based" economies

Hicks, Christina C. (2011) How do we value our reefs? Risks and tradeoffs across scales in "biomass-based" economies. Coastal Management, 39 (4). pp. 358-376.

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This review examines how local and regional coral reef management can be better informed by economic valuations. Results from the Western Indian Ocean show that supporting services are underrepresented, while cultural and provisioning services, where clear markets exist, are overrepresented in both the number of studies conducted and values assigned. These services are generally assessed using different methods meaning comparisons cannot be made across services. The largest number of services flows to beneficiaries at a local scale, consequently the cumulative value of ecosystem services is largest at this scale. However, the average value of a single service appears greatest, when flowing to beneficiaries at a global scale, creating biases in ecosystem service assessments. Furthermore, inconsistencies in classification and definition, particularly concerning regulating and option services exist. Findings suggest that if regional managers are to base their decisions on current valuation studies, their choices are likely to result in unexpected and undesirable tradeoffs. There is a need for (1) new and standardized methods that adequately account for supporting services; (2) studies to consider multiple ecosystem services simultaneously and across scales; and (3) a greater interdisciplinary understanding of how and why ecosystem services contribute to human well-being, under differing social contexts.

Item ID: 19516
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1521-0421
Keywords: coral reefs, cross scale, economic valuation, ecosystem services
Funders: Australian Research Council, Queensland's Smart Future Fund, Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Associations Marine Science for Management Program (MASMA).
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2012 00:40
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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