Economics

Prioritizing debt conversion opportunities for marine conservation

McGowan J, Weary R, Carriere L, Game ET, Smith JL, Garvey M, Possingham HP. Prioritizing debt conversion opportunities for marine conservation. Conservation Biology [Internet]. 2020 . Available from: https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13540
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Incentivized debt conversion is a financing mechanism that can assist countries with a heavy debt burden to bolster their long‐term domestic investment in nature conservation. The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation‐based nongovernmental organization, is adapting debt conversions to support marine conservation efforts by small island developing states and coastal countries. Prioritizing debt conversion opportunities according to their potential return on investment can increase the impact and effectiveness of this finance mechanism. We developed guidance on how to do so with a decision‐support approach that relies on a novel threat‐based adaptation of cost‐effectiveness analysis. We constructed scenarios by varying parameters of the approach, including enabling conditions, expected benefits, and threat classifications. Incorporating both abatable and unabatable threats affected priorities across planning scenarios. Similarly, differences in scenario construction resulted in unique solution sets for top priorities. We show how environmental organizations, private entities, and investment banks can adopt structured prioritization frameworks for making decisions about conservation finance investments, such as debt conversions. Our guidance can accommodate a suite of social, ecological, and economic considerations, making the approach broadly applicable to other conservation finance mechanisms or investment strategies that seek to establish a transparent process for return‐on‐investment decision‐making.

Article impact statement : Prioritizations that explicitly incorporate abatable and unabatable threats can improve conservation return on investment decision‐making.

The Economic Value of Shark and Ray Tourism in Indonesia and Its Role in Delivering Conservation Outcomes

Mustika PLiza Kusum, Ichsan M, Booth H. The Economic Value of Shark and Ray Tourism in Indonesia and Its Role in Delivering Conservation Outcomes. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00261/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1320398_45_Marine_20200505_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As a hotspot of species diversity and fishing pressure, Indonesia is a global priority for the conservation of sharks, rays and their cartilaginous relatives (herein “sharks”). The high value marine tourism industry in Indonesia can create economic incentives for protecting and sustainably managing marine ecosystems and species, including sharks. This study estimates the economic value of shark and ray tourism in Indonesia and explores tourist preferences and local community perceptions of the tourism industry to understand the current and potential future role of this industry in shark and ray conservation. We identified 24 shark tourism hotspots across 14 provinces, with primary data collected from 365 tourists and 84 local community members over six case study sites. We use Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and travel efforts to extrapolate expenditures to other tourism sites. We estimate that at least 188,931 dedicated or partially dedicated shark tourists visit Indonesia each year. The median annual expenditures of these shark tourists is estimated at USD 22 million (for 2017), accounting for at least 7% of the total USD 1 billion marine tourism revenue in Indonesia in 2017 and 1.45× the value of annual shark exports in the country (inflation-adjusted to 2017 values). If sharks were absent from the surveyed sites, Indonesia’s tourism industry could lose ∼25% of these dive tourist expenditures. Despite this considerable value, our study indicates a mismatch between the absolute economic value of shark and ray tourism and its role in providing an incentive for conservation. Results from interviews with local communities in or near shark and ray tourism sites indicate that shark fishers are not well placed to receive direct economic benefits from shark and ray tourism. Since overfishing is the primary threat to shark populations, failure to engage with and appropriately incentivize these stakeholders will be detrimental to the success of Indonesia’s shark conservation efforts. If shark populations continue to decline due to insufficient conservation actions, the tourism industry could suffer economic losses from shark and ray tourism of more than USD 121 million per annum by 2027, as well as detrimental impacts on species, marine ecosystems, fisheries and people.

The Economics of Linen Nets: A Solution to the Microplastic Waste Problem in Waters

Uusivuori E. The Economics of Linen Nets: A Solution to the Microplastic Waste Problem in Waters. University of Helsinki; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307348
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Thesis

Oceans, seas, lakes and other waterbodies are increasingly suffering from too much plastic waste. Numerous sources are contributing to this plastic waste problem. Additionally, conventional fishing nets, made out of nylon, are causing environmental damage by disintegrating into microplastics. The breakdown process stops there, as these microscopic particles are non-biodegradable. Microplastics remain in waters for years causing harm to marine organisms that ingest them. Linen fishing nets are a valid alternative and more ecological production of nets. This study aims to compare the costs of these new linen nets with conventional nets. These costs can be related to the environmental benefits of these alternative nets. The research objective is to study the question under which conditions it would be optimal to choose linen nets over conventional (nylon) fishing nets. The conditions examined are economic and policy, environmental and technological. This research question is put into the wider context of microplastics. A rotation model, typically used in forest economics, is applied to analyze the optimal lengths of periods to renew both a linen and a nylon fishing net. A comparison of the costs is conducted and a subsidy-based policy instrument is determined for the fishers using linen nets.

A subsidy-based policy could be applied to make fishing enterprises in Finland use ecological fishing gear. The results suggest that the costs of such a policy would be reasonable, estimated between €1.1 and €4.5 million in this study. Importantly, an increase in the use of ecological nets would lead to a decrease in the total microplastic load in waterbodies.

Forces of Nature: Coastal Resilience Benefits of Mangroves in Jamaica

Castaño-Isaza J, Lee S, Dani S. Forces of Nature: Coastal Resilience Benefits of Mangroves in Jamaica. Washington, DC: The World Bank; 2019. Available from: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/lac/publication/forces-of-nature-coastal-resilience-benefits-of-mangroves-in-jamaica
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, face substantial risks from storms and hurricanes. Coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds protect communities from storms, and are critical for the sustainability of many economic activities, jobs, and inclusive growth.

A recent report, “Forces of Nature,” examines the considerable flood risk reduction services that mangroves provide to Jamaica, together with benefits related to fisheries production, and carbon sequestration.

This report supports the growing interest within the development agenda to include nature-based solutions for disaster risk management and provides vital information for discussion on climate change adaptation and mitigation, insurance, and disaster recovery decisions.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of different types of payments for ecosystem services: A case in the urban wetland ecosystem

Jiangyi L, Shiquan D, Hmeimar AEl Houssei. Cost-effectiveness analysis of different types of payments for ecosystem services: A case in the urban wetland ecosystem. Journal of Cleaner Production [Internet]. In Press :119325. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652619341952
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) have emerged as a popular conservation tool, yet evaluation among different PES programs strategies remains piecemeal. We prospectively compare cost-effectiveness of general PES, collective payments for ecosystem services (CPES) and the transition from PES to Land Purchases or Easements (LPE). We analyze the economic cost using statistics data and literature data, and analyze the transaction cost with the ordinal variable. We develop the Emergy Analysis method with the InVEST Habitat Quality model, and utilize it to analyze and map the ecological effectiveness. This paper gives an example to assessing the cost-effectiveness of different PES programs. Based on the analysis, LPE strategy led to improved ecological effectiveness, lower cost and greater cost-effectiveness. The collective PES has lower cost than general PES. However, they demonstrate equal ecological effectiveness. Based on these outcomes, we analyze the factors that influence PES programs’ cost-effectiveness, including collective or group, market-based mechanism, economic incentive, transaction cost, contract scale etc. We conclude that minimal number of intermediaries, community/collective support and involvement constitute the key factors in improving the cost-effectiveness of ecological programs. However, we acknowledge the need for further studies on the subject.

Coastal Resources Economics and Ecosystem Valuation

Milon J, Alvarez S. Coastal Resources Economics and Ecosystem Valuation. Water [Internet]. 2019 ;11(11):2206. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/11/11/2206/htm
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The papers in this special issue provide new insights into ongoing research to value coastal and marine ecosystem services, and offer meaningful information for policymakers and resource managers about the economic significance of coastal resources for planning, restoration, and damage assessment. Study areas encompass a broad geographic scope from the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, to the Caribbean, the European Union, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The focus of these papers ranges from theoretical perspectives on linkages between ecosystem services and resource management, to the actual integration of valuation information in coastal and marine resource policy decisions, and to the application of economic valuation methods to specific coastal and marine resource management problems. We hope readers will appreciate these new contributions to the growing literature on coastal and marine resource ecosystem services valuation.

Mobile phone network data reveal nationwide economic value of coastal tourism under climate change

Kubo T, Uryu S, Yamano H, Tsuge T, Yamakita T, Shirayama Y. Mobile phone network data reveal nationwide economic value of coastal tourism under climate change. Tourism Management [Internet]. 2020 ;77:104010. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517719302080
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The technology-driven application of big data is expected to assist policymaking towards sustainable development; however, the relevant literature has not addressed human welfare under climate change, which limits the understanding of climate change impacts on human societies. We present the first application of unique mobile phone network data to evaluate the current nation-wide human welfare of coastal tourism at Japanese beaches and project the value change using the four climate change scenarios. The results show that the projected national economic value loss rates are more significant than the projected national physical beach loss rates. Our findings demonstrate regional differences in recreational values: most southern beaches with larger current values would disappear, while the current small values of the northern beaches would remain. These changes imply that the ranks of the beaches, based on economic values, would enable policymakers to discuss management priorities under climate change.

Reducing Marine Plastic Pollution: Policy Insights from Economics

Abbott JK, U Sumaila R. Reducing Marine Plastic Pollution: Policy Insights from Economics. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://academic.oup.com/reep/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/reep/rez007/5522919
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $45.00
Type: Journal Article

Marine plastic pollution is heavily driven by escaped plastic waste from land. Effectively reducing flows of plastic pollution into the oceans requires incentivizing efficient disposal decisions, discouraging production and consumption of products with low recyclability and reuse potential, and encouraging lower-impact, easily recyclable product and packaging designs. We examine the economic literature on waste management and integrated environmental policy to assess how particular policies target these individual pathways and can efficiently reduce flows of plastics into waterways. These policies include production/retail bans and standards, extended producer responsibility, price-based policies such as advance disposal fees and two-part instruments, and interventions grounded in behavioral economics and psychology. We also consider the applicability of these policies in coastal developing nations that often rely upon the informal sector for waste management services. We conclude by identifying important issues for future research.

Environmental Issues of Deep-Sea Mining - Deep-Sea Natural Capital: Putting Deep-Sea Economic Activities into an Environmental Context

Thiele T. Environmental Issues of Deep-Sea Mining - Deep-Sea Natural Capital: Putting Deep-Sea Economic Activities into an Environmental Context. In: Sharma R Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2019. pp. 507 - 518. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-12696-4_18
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $29.95
Type: Book Chapter

The natural capital of the vast deep ocean is significant yet not well quantified. The ecosystem services provided by the deep sea provide a wide range of benefits to humanity. Proposed deep-sea economic activities such as fishing, deep-sea mining and bioprospecting therefore need to be assessed in this context. In addition to quantifying the economic benefits and costs of such activities on their own, their potential impact on the deep-sea natural capital also needs to be considered.

This article describes such a natural capital approach, identifies relevant ecosystem services and looks at how a range of proposed commercial activities could be assessed in this context. It suggests a methodology for such analysis and suggests an approach to a sustainable blue deep-sea economy that is consistent with environmental precaution. It will close with suggestions of how potential risks can best be handled.

The article aims to show that modern environmental economics based on natural capital can provide a useful framework for deciding future deep-sea efforts.

Economic potential of the Brazilian marine recreational fishery

Freire KMeirelles, Sumaila URashid. Economic potential of the Brazilian marine recreational fishery. Boletim do Instituto de Pesca [Internet]. 2019 ;45(1):412. Available from: https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20193076177
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $32.00
Type: Journal Article

The number of recreational fishing licenses in Brazil has been increasing exponentially since 2000, but a drop occurred in 2014, probably associated to an economic crisis. On average, only 20% of the licenses issued in 2011-2014 were for anglers fishing in marine waters. From those, 20% were type A licenses (shore-based) and the remainder were type B-C licenses (boat-based). Based on the licenses database, it was possible to estimate a mean annual expenditure by marine anglers of US$ 524 million between 2011 and 2014. The absolute mean expenditure per trip was usually higher for men but women tended to spend more as a percentage of their income. This was mainly due to the lower average income of women relative to men. Some inconsistences in the licenses database were found which could be easily corrected in the future and the estimates presented here improved.

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