Business names, as recorded by state tax departments, offer a possible indicator of cultural ecosystem services provided by nearby natural resources. Using oysters in the Chesapeake Bay as an example, we process spatial and quantitative analyses that can potentially identify cultural value for integration into monitoring efforts that aim to incorporate a variety of ecosystem services. Businesses named directly after oysters provide a useful lens to capture the many reasons people value oysters culturally, but also provide an easy aggregate indicator that could potentially be added to regular regional monitoring programs in order to factor in cultural value to adaptive management policies.
Despite the growing recognition of their importance, immaterial cultural values associated with the sea still tend to be neglected in marine spatial planning (MSP). This socio-cultural evidence gap is due to inherent difficulties in defining and eliciting cultural values, but also to difficulties in linking cultural values to specific places, thus enabling an area-based approach to management. This paper addresses three aspects that are important for including marine cultural values in MSP: Defining cultural values, identifying places of cultural importance, and establishing the relative significance of places of cultural importance. We argue that common classification schemes such as cultural ecosystem services can be a helpful starting point for identifying cultural values, but only go so far in capturing communities' cultural connections with the sea. A method is proposed for structuring a community-based narrative on cultural values and “spatialising” them for MSP purposes, using five criteria that can lead to the definition of “culturally significant areas”. A baseline of culturally significant areas is suggested as an aid to planners to pinpoint places where cultural connections to the sea are particularly strong. Throughout, we emphasise the need for participative processes.
Despite rapid advances in development of the ecosystem services (ES) concept, challenges remain for its use in decision making. Cultural ES (CES) have proven particularly difficult to pin down and resultant “shades of grey” impede their consideration by decision-makers. This study undertakes a literature review of CES to highlight the shades of grey, briefly illustrates findings by reference to the Swedish mountain landscape, then addresses potential implications for practical decision making. The concept of CES is complex and difficult to operationalize. The root of confusion appears to be a lack of rigour in identifying CES, hindering identification of proper methods for determining: the ecosystem elements that underpin CES; the beneficiaries of CES and how they value benefits delivered; and how CES may vary in space and time. We conclude by proposing a framework of questions, which we relate to the ES cascade model, that is intended to help researchers and decision-makers to reflect when considering CES. Answers to the questions should enable decision-makers to prioritise policy development or implementation in relation to the differing needs of potentially competing beneficiaries and what needs to be done or not done to the ecosystem, where, when and by whom.
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are the non-material benefits obtained from ecosystems that contribute to human well-being. They are often under-represented in ecosystem services assessments due to difficulties identifying and valuing intangible attributes. This risks a lack of understanding and consideration of CES by decision-makers. A systematic review was done on coastal and marine CES to identify: geographic distribution of research; effective methods for assessing CES; specific habitats/ecosystems that supply CES; subcategories most frequently addressed; and knowledge gaps. Results revealed limited information exists about coastal and marine CES. There is a disparity in the global distribution of studies with little knowledge about CES in developing countries, as well as a disparity within developed countries; with most research undertaken in Europe and North America. There is a dearth of information on CES derived from specific coastal and marine habitats/ecosystems, reflecting a poor understanding of socio-ecological relationships and the different values people assign to these areas. There is a need to develop indicators with the capacity to measure and track changes in CES over time. Participatory approaches using qualitative methods were most effective in identifying CES; however, these lacked a deliberative element that would provide a comprehensive assessment of shared values in public areas. Overall, publications typically theorised about the usefulness of data on CES to inform and support decision makers, and more research is required on how qualitative data on CES can be represented for practical use by coastal and marine resource managers, and the value of these in the real world.
This report examines the extent to which available information supports characterization of community‐ specific ecosystem service values for Massachusetts’ ocean waters, and suggests ways to address key data gaps. The report focuses on three activities of particular interest to the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership and the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA): commercial fishing; vessel navigation; and recreational activities. For each of these activities, the report presents the data available to characterize potential linkages between communities and the location of activity in Massachusetts’ state waters. When practicable, we provide maps and tables to demonstrate these linkages. For commercial fishing and recreational activity, we present and discuss the available data on associated economic values. We also offer recommendations to improve the state’s understanding of important ecosystem services, particularly with respect to recreational activities.
The following Guidance Document (Guide) presents a method for agencies to consult with tribes more effectively and appropriately in advance of any proposed undertakings. It also suggests a means for tribes and other indigenous communities1 to relate their interests and concepts of landscape to federal agencies and other land and water management entities. The concept is rooted in a collaborative initiative related to offshore renewable energy development. This project–Characterizing Tribal Cultural Landscapes–was comprised of a team from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (POCS) Regional Office, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), two independent Tribal Facilitators, and representatives from the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPO) of the Makah Tribe of Washington, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, and the Yurok Tribe of California. The team worked collectively to develop a transferable best-practices method to identify areas of tribal use and significance that could be impacted by offshore renewable energy siting. Funding was provided by BOEM through an Interagency Agreement with ONMS. Additional information on the project’s background and implementation can be found in the Final Report, and on the website sanctuaries.noaa.gov/tribal-landscapes.
A significant barrier to the assessment of ecosystem services is a lack of primary data, especially for cultural ecosystem services. Spatial value transfer, also known as benefits transfer, is a method to identify the probable locations of ecosystem services based on empirical spatial associations found in other geographic locations. To date, there has been no systematic evaluation of spatial value transfer methods for cultural ecosystem services identified through participatory mapping methods. This research paper addresses this knowledge gap by examining key variables that influence value transfer for cultural ecosystem services: (1) the geographic setting, (2) the type of ecosystem services, and (3) the land cover data selected for value-transfer. Spatial data from public participation GIS (PPGIS) processes in two regions in Norway were used to evaluate spatial value transfer where the actual mapped distribution of cultural ecosystem values were compared to maps generated using value transfer coefficients. Six cultural ecosystem values were evaluated using two different land cover classification systems GlobCover (300 m resolution) and CORINE (100 m resolution). Value transfer maps based on the distribution of mapped ecosystem values produced strongly correlated results to primary data in both regions. Value transfer for cultural ecosystems appear valid under conditions where the primary data and value transfer regions have similar physical landscapes, the social and cultural values of the human populations are similar, and the primary data sample sizes are large and unbiased. We suggest the use of non-economic value transfer coefficients derived from participatory mapping as the current best approach for estimating the importance and spatial distribution of cultural ecosystem services.
Although there is a need to develop a spatially explicit methodological approach that addresses the social importance of cultural ecosystem services for regional planning, few studies have analysed the spatial distribution on the cultural ecosystem services based on social perceptions.
The main objective of this study was to identify cultural ecosystem service hot-spots, and factors that characterize such hot-spots and define the spatial associations between cultural ecosystem services in Southern Patagonia (Argentina).
The study was carried out in Southern Patagonia (243.9 thousand km2) located between 46° and 55° SL with the Andes mountains on the western fringe and the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern fringe of the study area. The study region has a range of different vegetation types (grasslands, shrub-lands, peat-lands and forests) though the cold arid steppe is the main vegetation type. We used geo-tagged digital images that local people and visitors posted in the Panoramio web platform to identify hot-spots of four cultural ecosystem services (aesthetic value, existence value, recreation and local identity) and relate these hot-spots with social and biophysical landscape features.
Aesthetic value was the main cultural service tagged by people, followed by the existence value for biodiversity conservation, followed by local identity and then recreational activity. The spatial distribution of these cultural ecosystem services are associated with different social and biophysical characteristics, such as the presence of water bodies, vegetation types, marine and terrestrial fauna, protected areas, urbanization, accessibility and tourism offer. The most important factors are the presence of water in Santa Cruz and tourism offer in Tierra del Fuego.
Our results demonstrate that this methodology is useful for assessing cultural ecosystem services at the regional scale, especially in areas with low data availability and field accessibility, such as Southern Patagonia. We also identify new research challenges that can be addressed in cultural ecosystem services research through the use of this method.
Beyond recreation, little attention has been paid thus far to economically value Cultural Ecosystem Services (CESs), especially in the context of coastal or marine environment. This paper develops and tests a pathway to the identification and economic valuation of CESs. The pathway enables researchers to make more explicit, and to economically value, cultural dimensions of environmental change. We suggest that the valuation process includes a simultaneous development of the scenarios of environmental change including related biophysical impacts, and a documentation of culture–environment linkages. A well-defined ecosystem service typology is also needed to classify cultural–ecological linkages as specific CESs. The pathway then involves the development of detailed, multidimensional depictions of the culture–environment linkages for use in a stated preference survey. The anticipated CES interpretations should be confirmed through debriefing questions in the survey questionnaire. The proposed approach is demonstrated with a choice experiment-based case study in Turkey that focuses improvements to the food web of the Black Sea. The results of this study indicate that economic preferences for CESs other than recreation can be estimated in a way that is economically consistent using the proposed approach.
Ecosystem service research has long been dominated by a monetary interpretation of value, neglecting other social perspectives on the importance of ecosystems for human well-being. Emphasis has been put on individual utility and rational choice, which does not adequately capture the full spectrum of social values of ecosystem services. A socio-cultural approach to value ecosystem services is increasingly advocated and is gaining more attention in the ecosystem service research agenda. The current documentation of socio-cultural perspectives on ecosystem services is, however, characterized by a conflation of the concepts of “cultural ecosystem services” and “socio-cultural values” of ecosystem services. This paper reviews (i) the concept of socio-cultural values within the ecosystem service framework, (ii) the social and ecological factors that determine socio-cultural values, and (iii) the methods by which socio-cultural values can be assessed. The clarifications of the concept of socio-cultural valuation and the structured listing of the available methods facilitate a better integration of socio-cultural values into ecosystem service assessments and help researchers to choose methods from the available portfolio.