Outreach
Bringing the Ocean to Society
4 Apr 2019
Valuing marine ecosystem services
New EMB publication addresses the value of ecosystem benefits in the blue economy

The publication highlights current thinking in ecosystem service valuation for the marine environment. The purpose of ecosystem valuation is not to price-tag nature, but to help answer clearly defined marine policy questions, as it can help visualize and quantify (in monetary or non-monetary terms) the diverse direct and indirect contributions of marine ecosystem services to human well-being. Ecosystem valuation studies need to take the specific context, knowledge and spatio-temporal scale into account with the appropriate level of complexity. This requires a transdisciplinary approach and the inclusion of socio-economic drivers. Including the outcomes of marine valuation studies into marine policy decisions and marine management decisions could help to improve the long-term sustainability of the Blue Growth, and raise awareness of the importance of the marine environment to society and in the economy.

The new European Marine Board Future Science Brief makes some recommendations on how to incorporate outputs from marine 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. It 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.

The publication was established under the EMB Working Group VALMARE. A short factsheet for policy makers is available here.

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