Ecosystem goods and services in marine protected areas (MPAs)
he concept of ecosystem goods and services (ES) has become increasingly important in conservation management. This report provides an overview of how ES theory, classification, valuation methods and spatial modelling tools can be used to manage and protect New Zealand’s existing marine parks, management areas, sanctuaries and the protected area network. Specifically, it summarises the ES of coastal and marine areas, including marine protected areas (MPAs), and provides an estimate of their values, based on a benefit-transfer of values from the literature. The rapid ecosystem services assessment (RESA) method was applied to seven New Zealand marine areas, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (and Territorial Sea), a marine mammal sanctuary and five marine reserves. These RESAs were based on GIS data, which generated a solid starting point for the valuations and highlighted the benefit of having clear definitions of biomes. Collectively, the case-study areas generated an average ES value of NZ$403B per year for 2010, which is about 2.07 times gross domestic product (GDP) for that same year (NZ$194B) and equates to a per capita ES value of NZ$92,245 per year. Qualitative analysis of the supply, demand and value of ES suggests that a change in the legal status of a marine or coastal area will only bring benefits if the value is perceived—which is often not the case for marine ecosystems. Therefore, this report concludes with an overview of the tools that are being developed for ES valuation, ranging from those that can be applied when the benefits are evident to those that are more suitable for when they are not.