Valuation of ecosystems services in coastal ecosystems: Asian and European perspectives

Premachandra Wattage

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    The coastal ecosystem is essential to life on our planet and supports the livelihood of people living and depending on coastal resources. The abundance of good quality costal is fundamental to all marine biological processes and supports living resources. Moreover it essential for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystems, in addition to primary and secondary production functions that support human needs. Valuation studies of coastal resources will considerably increase our knowledge of the value of ecosystems. Their usefulness has often been undermined due to undervaluation, the main reason for coastal resources destruction. Despite a global consensus on the need to implement stakeholder management approaches and on Millenium Development Goals for food security, poverty reduction and preservation of ecosystems, the reality in most counries is a competition between different groups and sectors for access to coastal ecosystem services. The real value of wetlands plays a major role in this predicament. A variety of innovative methods of economics are usually applied in the valuation of cultural and provisioning services in coastal ecosystem under the concept of total value. The basic premise underlying all these economic valuation techniques is the individual's willingness to pay (WTP) or willingness to accept(WTA). The contingent valuation method (CVM) uses a direct stated preference approach to valuing an environment good or service in that it asks people through surveys or experiments what they are WTP for the good or WTA for the loss of the good. A demand curve can be traced using the bid values estimated in a CVM study which is particularly attractive because it can estimate values where market do not exist or where market substitutes cannot be found. Choice experiment (CE) is becoming an increasingly popoluar stated preference technique in valuing coastal resources. CE is considered to be both an evolution of and an alternative to CVM and both methods use stated preference approaches and both are usually based on random utility theory. Two studies in Europe and Asia using CVM and CE approaches for valuing cultural and provisioning ecosystem services are highlighted in this paper. There is an urgent need for research to determine the status of regulating services and how the value can actually be captured and incorporated in decision making process in ecosystem management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationValuation of regulating services of ecosystems: methodology and applications
    EditorsP. Kumar, M. Wood
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Print)9780415569873
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge explorations in environmental economics


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