Cultural ecosystem services provided by the Baltic Sea marine environment
This paper applies the concept of cultural ecosystem services (CES) to reveal the diverse benefits the Baltic Sea provides to human well-being. The study identifies and defines relevant CES for marine and coastal environments and applies them in a survey with 4800 respondents from Germany, Finland and Latvia. The relative importance of various CES was determined by asking respondents to allocate 100 points between CES related to recreation, landscape, inspiration, learning and education, spiritual experiences and belonging, historically and culturally important places and the existence of habitats. The results reveal significant differences in the importance of various CES across countries, users and nonusers of the Baltic Sea, as well as respondents with different human–nature relationships. The results emphasize the importance of considering recreation, landscapes and habitats in conservation policies, while acknowledging that all CES are perceived as important by some population groups.