Valuing the significant ecosystem services provided by Irish coastal, marine and estuarine habitats

Valuing the significant ecosystem services provided by Irish coastal, marine and estuarine habitats

The main objective of this project is the generation of monetary values for the significant ecosystem service benefits provided by Ireland's coastal, marine and estuarine environments. These ecosystem services occur at multiple scales, from climate regulation and carbon sequestration at the global scale to food provision, marine recreation opportunities and waste treatment at a local and regional scale. By categorising and mapping coastal, marine and estuarine ecosystems and linking them to reliable estimates of ecosystem service value flows, this project will assist decision makers with responsibility for marine and coastal zone management as they attempt to manage developments in a manner that maximizes the delivery of value to society while minimizing forgone market opportunities. The valuation of the identified ecosystem service benefits will be accomplished using secondary sources of information. Where values cannot be generated, descriptive details will be given on the possible ways by which the particular ecosystem service benefits society. Outputs will include a report on the benefit values associated with marine and coastal ecosystem services and a paper on the use of meta analysis for valuing recreational benefits. The values generated will provide policy-makers with information on ranking of ecosystem services (such as for example, whether the value associated with the recreational services provided in a bay are greater than the potential waste assimilation services values from the outflow of a proposed treatment plant). The results will also provide policy makers with information on spatial differences in the values of the identified marine ecosystem services around the coast.

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Environmental Protection Agency 2014-NC-MS-1
Stephen Hynes

Keywords: Ecosystem Service; Marine; Service Value; Benefit values; Policy

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