Is economic valuation of ecosystem services useful to decision-makers? Lessons learned from Australian coastal and marine management

Marre, Jean-Baptiste, Thebaud, Olivier, Pascoe, Sean, Jennings, Sarah, Boncoeur, Jean, & Coglan, Louisa (2016) Is economic valuation of ecosystem services useful to decision-makers? Lessons learned from Australian coastal and marine management. Journal of Environmental Management, 178, pp. 52-62.

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Economic valuation of ecosystem services is widely advocated as a useful decision-support tool for ecosystem management. However, the extent to which economic valuation of ecosystem services is actually used or considered useful in decision-making is poorly documented. This literature blindspot is explored with an application to coastal and marine ecosystems management in Australia. Based on a nation-wide survey of eighty-eight decision-makers representing a diversity of management organizations, the perceived usefulness and level of use of ecosystem services economic valuation in support of coastal and marine management are examined. A large majority of decision-makers are found to be familiar with economic valuation and consider it useful - even necessary - in decision-making, although this varies across decision-makers groups. However, most decision-makers never or rarely use it. The perceived level of importance and trust in estimated dollar values differ across ecosystem services, and are especially high for values that relate to commercial activities. A number of factors are also found to influence respondent’s use of economic valuation. Such findings concur with conclusions from other existing works, and are instructive to reflect on the issue of the usefulness of ESV in environmental management decision-making. They also confirm that the survey-based approach developed in this application represents a sound strategy to examine this issue at various scales and management levels.

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1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 94905
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Economic valuation, Ecosystem services, Decision-making, Ecosystem management, Coastal and marine ecosystems
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.04.014
ISSN: 1095-8630
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Elsevier
Deposited On: 17 Apr 2016 23:59
Last Modified: 10 May 2016 02:48

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