The global value of coastal wetlands for storm protection

Costanza, Robert, Anderson, Sharolyn J., Sutton, Paul, Mulder, Kenneth, Mulder, Odadiah, Kubiszewski, Ida, Wang, Xuatong, Liu, Xin, Pérez-Maqueo, Octavio, Martinez, M. Luisa, Jarvis, Diane, and Dee, Greg (2021) The global value of coastal wetlands for storm protection. Global Environmental Change, 70. 102328.

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Coastal wetlands provide a range of valuable ecosystem services, including protecting coastal communities from storms. We estimated for the first time the global value of these storm protection services for all coastal wetlands for both damages avoided and lives saved. We used the historical tracks of 1,014 tropical cyclones since 1902 that recorded property damage and/or human casualties in 71 countries/regions. We used Bayesian and OLS statistical techniques to relate storm damages and lives lost to: wind speed, storm forward speed, the year of the storm, the volume of ocean water proximal to landfall, and GDP, population, and coastal wetlands in the swath of the storm. Based on current storm probabilities, we estimate the median annual global value of coastal wetlands for storm protection at $447 billion/yr (2015$US) ($213 - $837 billion/yr, 90% CI) and 4,620 lives saved per year (3,320 – 6,550, 90% CI). The 40 million hectares of coastal wetlands in storm prone areas provided an average of $11,000/ha/yr in avoided storm damages. The frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones has been increasing in recent decades and is projected to further increase with climate change. Consequently, the already significant benefits from protecting and restoring coastal wetlands will become increasingly important and valuable in the future. These results justify much larger investments in conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands.

Item ID: 68958
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9495
Keywords: Coastal wetlands; Storm protection; Economic valuation; Bayesian analysis; Avoided damages; Avoided deaths
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 01:56
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3899 Other economics > 389902 Ecological economics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1904 Natural hazards > 190405 Meteorological hazards (e.g. cyclones and storms) @ 50%
15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1599 Other economic framework > 159902 Ecological economics @ 50%
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