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Valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services as a tool for conservation: The case of Martinique in the Caribbean

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Martinique possesses 55 km2 of coral reefs, 50km2 of sea grass and 20km2 of mangroves. These three ecosystems produce services to a value estimated at 250 million € per year (valuation recently undertaken under the French initiative for Coral Reef Conservation - the IFRECOR program). It is estimated that around 60% of this value originates from direct uses such as recreational activities (diving, excursions, beach activities, etc.) tourism and fisheries. Ecosystem services (indirect uses) such as coastal protection, carbon sequestration, biomass production and water purification are significant since their total value reaches 94 million € annually (38% of the total economic value). Non-use values linked to improvements in health of coastal ecosystems is estimated to be 10 million € per year. At the ecosystem level, sea grass and mangrove contribute the most (per km2) to wealth creation (2.16 million €/km2, 1.87 million €/km2 respectively, against 1.78 million €/km2 for coral reefs). They need, therefore, to benefit from protection and management measures in the same magnitude as coral reefs already receive. The valuation also shows that, due to policy inaction, the loss of value is about 2.5 million € per year, which urges politicians to develop a sound conservation policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
JournalEcosystem Services
Early online date14 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


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