Building a common perspective for ecosystem valuation

Building a common perspective for ecosystem valuation


This week PML is hosting a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK FCO) sponsored workshop with the aim of aligning and sharing economic approaches to marine ecosystem assessment in shelf and coastal seas and estuaries, in particular to inform marine spatial planning.

Ecosystem service valuation around the world varies in methods, application, and the degree to which ecological and economic science are integrated. This workshop has been arranged to examine the current state of play for ecosystem valuation and integration with ecological sciences in the UK and US, shaping a common outlook. PML scientists Dr Melanie Austen and Dr Nicky Beaumont have organised this event in collaboration with Professor Linwood Pendleton – Director of Ocean and Coastal Policy at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

The workshop includes presentations from prominent UK and US based ecosystem valuation experts, reflecting on experiences of integrating economics and ecological sciences for valuation and the application of this value to policy. The talks will also touch upon UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK FCO) sponsored workshop both promising and troubling trends in ecosystem service valuation within the UK and the United States.

Through gathering the key knowledge and insights of experts in this field, the group aims to produce a position paper, which will cover six crucial topics:

  1. How is ecosystem service valuation integrating economic and ecological science in the United States and the UK – progress to date and trends

  2. What valuation methods are being applied

  3. Applications of valuation to policy

  4. Use of ecosystem service models in the United States and UK

  5. Comparative analysis of the UK/United States differences in above and consequences

  6. The possible need for more standardisation and harmonisation

Through increasing the channels of communication in ecosystem service valuation on an international scale, research needs and data gaps can be addressed in a cohesive, joined up effort moving forward; ultimately increasing the ability to inform and influence decision making.

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