A fulfilled human life: Eliciting sense of place and cultural identity in two UK marine environments through the Community Voice Method

Last modified: 
August 26, 2019 - 10:22am
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 10/2019
Authors: Gillian Ainsworth, Jasper Kenter, Sebastian O'Connor, Francis Daunt, Juliette Young
Journal title: Ecosystem Services
Volume: 39
Pages: 100992
ISSN: 22120416

Human impacts on the marine environment threaten the wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people. Marine environments are a common-pool resource (CPR) and one of their major management challenges is how to incorporate the value of ecosystem services to society in decision-making. Cultural ecosystem services (CES) relate to the often intangible benefits people receive from their interactions with the natural environment and contribute to individual and collective human wellbeing. Priority knowledge gaps include the need to better understand shared values regarding CES, and how to effectively integrate these values into decision-making. We filmed 40 Community Voice Method interviews with marine stakeholders in two areas of the UK to improve on the valuation of coastal and marine CES. Results show that cultural benefits including sense of place, aesthetic pleasure and cultural identity were bi-directional, contributed directly to a ‘fulfilled human life’ and were associated with charismatic marine life and biodiversity. Other-regarding self-transcendence values were salient underscoring a desire for sustainable marine management. We critically reflect on our analytical framework that integrates aspects of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and IPBES conceptual frameworks. The thematic codebook developed for this study could prove useful for future comparative studies in other marine CES contexts. We propose that values-led management could increase the efficacy of marine planning strategies.

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