Social valuation of ecosystem services and public policy alternatives is one of the greatest challenges facing ecological economists today. Frameworks for valuing nature increasingly include shared/social values as a distinct category of values. However, the nature of shared/social values, as well as their relationship to other values, has not yet been clearly established and empirical evidence about the importance of shared/social values for valuation of ecosystem services is lacking. To help address these theoretical and empirical limitations, this paper outlines a framework of shared/social values across five dimensions: value concept, provider, intention, scale, and elicitation process. Along these dimensions we identify seven main, non-mutually exclusive types of shared values: transcendental, cultural/societal, communal, group, deliberated and other-regarding values, and value to society. Using a case study of a recent controversial policy on forest ownership in England, we conceptualise the dynamic interplay between shared/social and individual values. The way in which social value is assessed in neoclassical economics is discussed and critiqued, followed by consideration of the relation between shared/social values and Total Economic Value, and a review of deliberative and non-monetary methods for assessing shared/social values. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of shared/social values for decision-making.
The Niger Delta wetlands are of international importance for their biodiversity, and support a large human population. The value and distribution of wetland ecosystem service benefits and costs across the three main stakeholder sectors (local community, government and corporate) were investigated. Results show that the net monetary value of the wetlands is $11,000 per delta household of which $9000 was generated as cash income supporting household activities such as education and healthcare. The total annual value of provisioning services to local people is approximately $25 billion, about three times the value of oil production in the region. However, local communities also bear about 75% of the environmental costs of oil extraction, equivalent to about 19% of the oil industry profit. Local people, who experience considerable economic hardship and lack alternative income sources, receive little compensation from the oil sector. These results highlight the importance of understanding not only the benefits provided by Niger Delta wetlands, but also the distribution of the environmental costs associated with their use. We conclude that ecosystem service valuation studies should give greater attention to the social distribution of identified values. Such distributional analyses, rarely available, provide insight into how sustainable natural resource management policy and practice could be better aligned to social justice concerns.
International policy frameworks such as the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive define high-level strategic goals for marine ecosystems. Strategic goals are addressed via general and operational management objectives. To add credibility and legitimacy to the development of objectives, for this study stakeholders explored intermediate level ecological, economic and social management objectives for Northeast Atlantic pelagic ecosystems. Stakeholder workshops were undertaken with participants being free to identify objectives based on their own insights and needs. Overall 26 objectives were proposed, with 58% agreement in proposed objectives between two workshops. Based on published evidence for pressure-state links, examples of operational objectives and suitable indicators for each of the 26 objectives were then selected. It is argued that given the strong species-specific links of pelagic species with the environment and the large geographic scale of their life cycles, which contrast to demersal systems, pelagic indicators are needed at the level of species (or stocks) independent of legislative region. Pelagic community indicators may be set at regional scale in some cases. In the evidence-based approach used in this study, the selection of species or region specific operational objectives and indicators was based on demonstrated pressure-state links. Hence observed changes in indicators can reliably inform on appropriate management measures.
The Coral Triangle covers an area between the Indian and Pacific oceans that represents the global epicenter of abundant marine life and diversity. The region surrounding these oceans includes some or all of the land and seas of six countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.
This report provides general information on the status of biophysical characteristics; governance; socioeconomic characteristics; and threats to, and vulnerabilities of, the coral reef ecosystems of Indonesia, part of which lies within the Coral Triangle. It outlines Indonesia’s plans and initiatives and its progress toward the conservation and sustainable use of these ecosystems.
Increasing CO2 atmospheric levels lead to increasing ocean acidification, thereby enhancing calcium carbonate dissolution of calcifying species. We gathered peer-reviewed experimental data on the effects of acidified seawater on calcifying species growth, reproduction, and survival. The data were used to derive species-specific median effective concentrations, i.e., pH50, and pH10, via logistic regression. Subsequently, we developed species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) to assess the potentially affected fraction (PAF) of species exposed to pH declines. Effects on species growth were observed at higher pH than those on species reproduction (mean pH10 was 7.73 vs 7.63 and mean pH50 was 7.28 vs 7.11 for the two life processes, respectively) and the variability in the sensitivity of species increased with increasing number of species available for the PAF (pH10 standard deviation was 0.20, 0.21, and 0.33 for survival, reproduction, and growth, respectively). The SSDs were then applied to two climate change scenarios to estimate the increase in PAF (ΔPAF) by future ocean acidification. In a high CO2 emission scenario, ΔPAF was 3 to 10% (for pH50) and 21 to 32% (for pH10). In a low emission scenario, ΔPAF was 1 to 4% (for pH50) and 7 to 12% (for pH10). Our SSDs developed for the effect of decreasing ocean pH on calcifying marine species assemblages can also be used for comparison with other environmental stressors.
To further describe movement patterns and distribution of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) and to determine threat levels for this species within the Eastern Pacific. In order to do this we combined published data from existing flipper tagging and early satellite tracking studies with data from an additional 12 satellite tracked green turtles (1996-2006). Three of these were tracked from their foraging grounds in the Gulf of California along the east coast of the Baja California peninsula to their breeding grounds in Michoacán (1337-2928 km). In addition, three post-nesting females were satellite tracked from Colola beach, Michoacán to their foraging grounds in southern Mexico and Central America (941.3-3020 km). A further six turtles were tracked in the Gulf of California within their foraging grounds giving insights into the scale of ranging behaviour. Turtles undertaking long-distance migrations showed a tendency to follow the coastline. Turtles tracked within foraging grounds showed that foraging individuals typically ranged up to 691.6 km (maximum) from release site location. Additionally, we carried out threat analysis (using the cumulative global human impact in the Eastern Pacific) clustering pre-existing satellite tracking studies from Galapagos, Costa Rica, and data obtained from this study; this indicated that turtles foraging and nesting in Central American waters are subject to the highest anthropogenic impact. Considering that turtles from all three rookeries were found to migrate towards Central America, it is highly important to implement conservation plans in Central American coastal areas to ensure the survival of the remaining green turtles in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, by combining satellite tracking data from this and previous studies, and data of tag returns we created the best available distributional patterns for this particular sea turtle species, which emphasized that conservation measures in key areas may have positive consequences on a regional scale.
There is a growing need to identify shark products in trade, in part due to the recent listing of five commercially important species on the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES; porbeagle, Lamna nasus, oceanic whitetip, Carcharhinus longimanus scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini, smooth hammerhead, S. zygaena and great hammerhead S. mokarran) in addition to three species listed in the early part of this century (whale, Rhincodon typus, basking, Cetorhinus maximus, and white, Carcharodon carcharias). Shark fins are traded internationally to supply the Asian dried seafood market, in which they are used to make the luxury dish shark fin soup. Shark fins usually enter international trade with their skin still intact and can be identified using morphological characters or standard DNA-barcoding approaches. Once they reach Asia and are traded in this region the skin is removed and they are treated with chemicals that eliminate many key diagnostic characters and degrade their DNA (“processed fins”). Here, we present a validated mini-barcode assay based on partial sequences of the cytochrome oxidase I gene that can reliably identify the processed fins of seven of the eight CITES listed shark species. We also demonstrate that the assay can even frequently identify the species or genus of origin of shark fin soup (31 out of 50 samples).
Abundances of semi-pelagic fish are often estimated using acoustic or bottom trawl surveys, both of which sample only a fraction of the water column. Acoustic instruments are effective at sampling the majority of the water column, but they have a near-surface blind zone and a near-bottom acoustic dead zone (ADZ), where fish remain undetected. Bottom trawls are effective near the seabed, but miss fish that are located above the effective fishing height of the trawl. Quantification of the extent of overlap between these gears is needed, particularly in cases where environmental factors play a role. We developed logistic regression models to predict the availability (qa) of walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) to both acoustic and bottom trawl gears using factors shown to affect qa (depth, light intensity, fish length) and introducing additional factors (tidal currents, surface and bottom temperature, sediment size). Results build on earlier studies and quantify the uncertainty associated with the estimation of the ADZ correction using Bayesian methods. Our findings indicate that on average during the day, walleye pollock are more available to the bottom trawl than to the acoustics. Availability to both gears depends mostly on bottom depth, light conditions, and fish size, and to a lesser extent sediment size. Availability to the acoustic gear is also related on surface temperature. Variability in availability to both gears also depends on environmental factors.
Studies typically assess the effects of temperature on development time, larval drift, and fisheries recruitment in American lobster at a range of constant temperatures. However, in nature, lobster larvae are exposed to varying temperatures, which might result in different development times than would be predicted from mean temperatures alone. To investigate this hypothesis, we conducted a modelling exercise in which we simulated larval development from hatch through stages I–IV under different combinations of mean and variance in temperature. Two thermal scenarios were modelled, the first based on estimated (i.e. interpolated by a model from empirical data) recent historical mean and variability of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) experienced by developing larvae in specific parts of the species' range, and the second based on a broad range of simulated combinations of mean and variability in temperature, including conditions that may be experienced by larvae in the future. The model calculated development times using daily SSTs and temperature-dependent development equations from previous studies of warm- and cold-water origin larvae. For warm-origin larvae, higher variability in temperature resulted in shorter development times at very cold and very warm mean temperatures, and longer development at intermediate mean temperatures, than lower (or no) variability. For cold-origin larvae, the effect of variable temperature was overall much smaller, and opposite to that for warm-origin larvae at very cold and very warm mean temperatures. These results show that lobster larvae experience meaningful variability of water temperature in nature, and that this variability can markedly impact larval development. Thermal variability therefore should be considered when estimating development and drift of lobster larvae, including under scenarios of climate change.
This paper examines the allocation of entitlement rights for the management of common property resources. In particular, the case of allocating a Total Allowable Catch quota for the Mediterranean swordfish is examined as a case study. The proposed approach comprises three steps. First, there is a bargaining procedure between the European Union (EU) and the rest of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) countries. As soon as an initial agreement is possible, the EU considers various equitable rationing methods to allocate its share to the European Member States. These rationing methods draw upon two different streams of the literature, bankruptcy and ‘burden sharing’. Finally, the European Member States reach a fair agreement through minimising an envy-free index. The allocation rule which is defined as the weighted average of equal proportion and equal share rationales represents the best compromise solution.