Prospects for Valuation in Marine Decision Making in Europe
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Ocean and Coastal Economics (JOCE). 2021, 8 (2). 10.15351/2373-8456.1150
There is now high-level recognition that the UN Sustainable Development Goals can only be achieved if the decline of ecosystems and biodiversity can be halted and reversed. This will require effective control of ongoing pressures, meaningful protection and enforcement of protected areas, and significant investments in ecosystem restoration. This paper explores the possible use of economic valuation and appraisal in achieving these goals in marine systems and discusses the European marine policy instruments where they should have an important role The paper first briefly reviews the tools of economic valuation and appraisal for marine ecosystem management. A critique of the use of economic valuation and appraisal in marine conservation and restoration is then presented. The paper argues that while progress has been made there remains a pressing need for better integration of marine environmental values in policy processes. It also highlights the fact that the focus on natural capital accounting, and more generally on green/blue growth and market instruments, could create a reliance on exchange values at the expense of welfare values required for policy appraisal.