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Valuing Ireland’s Blue Ecosystem Services (VIBES)

November 9, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: CA110 Seminar Room, Cairnes Building (St. Anthony's, ground floor)
Galway, Ireland

Speaker(s): Mr Danny Norton

Affiliation: SEMRU

Organised by: Whitaker Institute

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The marine and coastal ecosystems around the island of Ireland provide many valuable benefits to the Irish economy and society.  These benefits, generated by nature, are known as ‘Ecosystem Services’ (ESs). While the value of some these goods such as fish and aquaculture are somewhat easier to measure, the value of many other benefits such as carbon sequestration, waste treatment and recreation are not captured in any market. Without incorporating these values into the decision making processes, these benefits may be ignored or underestimated and changes within coastal and marine zones may incur a net loss to Irish society.

A number of policies are driving the need to assess the level and value of our blue ESs. The EU through its 2020 Biodiversity Strategy aims to protect, value and where necessary restore nature both for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and for its contribution to human wellbeing and economic prosperity through ecosystem services. This work will also aid in the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008) which requires an ecosystem approach to achieve “Good Environmental Status” in our marine and coastal waters. Incorporating the value of ES will help in ensuring the sustainable use of marine goods and services by present and future generations.

There are a number of frameworks which have been used for assessment of ecosystem services. This project will use the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) framework to identify those services which coastal, marine and estuarine ecosystems provide to society. CICES breaks down ESs into three main groups: provisioning services, regulating services and cultural services. The various services in each grouping will be valued using market prices where available or non-market valuation methods such as value transfer. Where there is sufficient data, the ESs will also be mapped as this is useful for communication between different stakeholders and will allow up- or down-scaling of values from national level to local level and vice versa.

The Valuation of Ireland’s Blue Ecosystem Services (VIBES) project will build on previous work done by SEMRU in valuing marine and coastal ecosystem services and is funded by the EPA under the Research Strategy 2014-2020.

Project website: http://www.nuigalway.ie/semru/valuing_ecosystem_services.html


This seminar is one of a series of seminars in the Whitaker Ideas Forum seminar series.  Danny will be representing the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit.