Towards More Standardization in the Collecting and Reporting of Marine Ecosystem Service Valuations
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Over the past two decades the valuation literature for coastal and marine resources has rapidly expanded. This has led to a wealth of valuation estimates for policy makers and resource managers to incorporate into their decision making. The rapid growth of the literature has been supported by a wide variety of approaches, methodologies, and contexts leading to a broad and diverse field. Although the diversity of the field can lead to innovative ideas and perspectives, the variations in approaches and reporting has also lead to uncertainty and differing interpretations of values. This Master’s Project works with the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP) and their partner the World Resources Institute (WRI). The purpose was to analyze the current state of ecosystem services valuation and the feasibility of bringing standards to the field. Standards could help improve the reliability of estimates, increase comparability of studies, and encourage better communication within the field. A three part study, this project 1) analyzes the MESP database of values for gaps and trends, 2) interviews economists to gather their views on standardization, 3) interviews data users of the WRI Coastal Capital project to see how they have used the project and how they would improve it going forward. This Master’s Project focuses on three ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses. At the end of the project, recommendations were given to the MESP on how they could improve their database and ways to better facilitate a discussion concerning the needs, obstacles and opportunities surrounding standardization.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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