Ecosystem Services Economics Unit

Nairobi, Kenya

Ecosystem Services Economics Unit

Nairobi, Kenya
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Voltaire L.,University of the Littoral Opal Coast | Loureiro M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Knudsen C.,University of Manchester | Nunes P.A.L.D.,Ecosystem Services Economics Unit
Marine Policy | Year: 2017

Offshore wind energy development can have major economic implications because of the potential impact on coastal recreation demand – particularly for countries that are characterised by high offshore wind power potential while also being popular tourist destinations. In this context, the impact of offshore wind farm projects on beach recreation demand in Catalonia (Spain) during the 2012 summer season was examined. A combined revealed and stated preference approach, which allows joint modelling of actual and hypothetical demands, was applied. The results demonstrate a significant welfare loss up to 203 million per season. The results further show that the installation of a wind farm mainly will cause a shift in trips to Catalan beaches without wind farms, which implies that the estimated negative economic impacts will occur mostly in areas where wind farms are located. From a political economy point of view, this may call for the design and implementation of re-distributive instruments to offset the negative impacts caused by wind farms. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Melaku Canu D.,National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS | Ghermandi A.,Haifa University | Nunes P.A.L.D.,Ecosystem Services Economics Unit | Lazzari P.,National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS | And 3 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2015

Ocean and marine ecosystems provide a range of valuable services to humans, including benefits such as carbon sequestration, whose economic value are as yet poorly understood. This paper presents a novel contribution to the valuation of carbon sequestration services in marine ecosystems with an application to the Mediterranean Sea. We combine a state-of-the-art biogeochemical model with various estimates of the social cost of carbon emissions to provide a spatially explicit characterization of the current flow of values that are attributable to the various sequestration processes, including the biological component. Using conservative estimates of the social cost of carbon, we evaluate the carbon sequestration value flows over the entire basin to range between 127 and 1722 million €/year. Values per unit area range from -135 to 1000 €/km2 year, with the exclusive economic zone of some countries acting as net carbon sources. Whereas the contribution of physical processes can be either positive or negative, also depending on the properties of incoming Atlantic water, the contribution of biological processes to the marine "blue carbon" sequestration is always positive, and found to range between 100 to 1500 million €/year for the whole basin. © 2015 The Authors.


Onofri L.,University of Padua | Nunes P.A.L.D.,Ecosystem Services Economics Unit
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2015

We adopted an economic analysis to evaluate and discuss the management of conservation and commercial exploitation of whales. In particular, the paper starts from the recent proposal to create and implement a quota market for whale trading and attempts to address and develop selected economic issues, in order to move towards understanding the economics of whales. We can summarize our findings in 2 main points: (1) the choice of the quota pre-trade value, number and allocation criteria will have different impacts on the way trade will occur; (2) the definition of the rules of trade and the study of the market structure where trade occurs will also determine the final outcome. From this perspective, quota markets for whales will support conservation and discourage whaling only under stringent conditions and careful monitoring, the costs of which need to be carefully valued and distributed among stakeholders according to agreed criteria. © Inter-Research 2015.


Nunes P.A.L.D.,Ecosystem Services Economics Unit | Loureiro M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Pinol L.,Technological Center | Sastre S.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Jellyfish outbreaks and their consequences appear to be on the increase around the world, and are becoming particularly relevant in the Mediterranean. No previous studies have quantified tourism losses caused by jellyfish outbreaks. We used a stated-choice questionnaire and a Random Utility Model to estimate the amount of time respondents would be willing to add to their journey, in terms of reported extra travel time, in order to reduce the risk of encountering jellyfish blooms in the Catalan coast. The estimation results indicated that the respondents were willing to spend on average an additional 23.8% of their travel time to enjoy beach recreation in areas with a lower risk of jellyfish blooms. Using as a reference the opportunity cost of time, we found that the subsample of individuals who made a tradeoff between the disutility generated by travelling longer in order to lower the risk of jellyfish blooms, and the utility gained from reducing this risk, are willing to pay on average €3.20 per beach visit. This estimate, combined with the respondents' mean income, yielded annual economic gains associated with reduction of jellyfish blooms on the Catalan coast around €422.57 million, or about 11.95% of the tourism expenditures in 2012. From a policy-making perspective, this study confirms the importance of the economic impacts of jellyfish blooms and the need for mitigation strategies. In particular, providing daily information using social media applications or other technical devices may reduce these social costs. The current lack of knowledge about jellyfish suggests that providing this information to beach recreationists may be a substantially effective policy instrument for minimising the impact of jellyfish blooms. © 2015 Nunes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | University of Western Brittany, University of Santiago de Compostela, Technological Center Maritime Division, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit and CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Jellyfish outbreaks and their consequences appear to be on the increase around the world, and are becoming particularly relevant in the Mediterranean. No previous studies have quantified tourism losses caused by jellyfish outbreaks. We used a stated-choice questionnaire and a Random Utility Model to estimate the amount of time respondents would be willing to add to their journey, in terms of reported extra travel time, in order to reduce the risk of encountering jellyfish blooms in the Catalan coast. The estimation results indicated that the respondents were willing to spend on average an additional 23.8% of their travel time to enjoy beach recreation in areas with a lower risk of jellyfish blooms. Using as a reference the opportunity cost of time, we found that the subsample of individuals who made a trade-off between the disutility generated by travelling longer in order to lower the risk of jellyfish blooms, and the utility gained from reducing this risk, are willing to pay on average 3.20 per beach visit. This estimate, combined with the respondents mean income, yielded annual economic gains associated with reduction of jellyfish blooms on the Catalan coast around 422.57 million, or about 11.95% of the tourism expenditures in 2012. From a policy-making perspective, this study confirms the importance of the economic impacts of jellyfish blooms and the need for mitigation strategies. In particular, providing daily information using social media applications or other technical devices may reduce these social costs. The current lack of knowledge about jellyfish suggests that providing this information to beach recreationists may be a substantially effective policy instrument for minimising the impact of jellyfish blooms.


Pascual U.,University of Cambridge | Muradian R.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Rodriguez L.C.,CSIRO | Duraiappah A.,Ecosystem Services Economics Unit
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

This paper addresses the relationship between equity and efficiency in PES schemes from a conceptual point of view. Emphasis is placed on the role of the institutional setting, social perceptions about economic fairness (or distributive justice of the payments), uncertainty and interactions between agents, including power relations. We introduce the heuristic concept of the 'efficiency-equity interdependency curve' to illustrate potential combinations between equity and efficiency that may be theoretically possible. The paper argues that different types of institutional factors determine which equity-efficiency combinations may be potentially feasible, influence the actual combination that will be achieved on the ground, and condition possible changes in that combination due to exogenous factors. By stressing the role of institutional aspects in shaping the equity-efficiency relationship, the paper attempts to go beyond the dominant Coasean vision of PES. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Rodrigues L.C.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | van Den Bergh J.C.J.M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | van Den Bergh J.C.J.M.,VU University Amsterdam | Loureiro M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 2 more authors.
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2015

A choice experiment is undertaken to elicit preferences of scuba divers in the Marine Protected Area of Medes Islands (Spain). This is the first non-market valuation study of a typical Mediterranean habitat, the Coralligenous, which is characterized by high biodiversity, geomorphologic complexity and iconic species like gorgonians. This habitat is not only very attractive for scuba diving, but is also threatened by climate change and ocean acidification, which is our motivation for undertaking this valuation study. Choice attributes include the number of divers on a diving trip, underwater landscape, presence of jellyfish species, expected state of gorgonians, and price of a dive. Results of multinomial and random parameter logit models indicate a decrease in the attractiveness of Coralligenous areas for scuba diving as a result of both environmental pressures. Estimates of welfare values show that the local extinction of gorgonians had the highest negative effect on utility equivalent to a cost of €60 per dive, followed by abundance of stinging jellyfish with a cost of €26 per dive. Choice probabilities for the selection of different dive experiences indicate the highest rejection rates for the combined sea warming and acidification scenarios. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Ghermandi A.,Haifa University | Galil B.,National Institute of Oceanography of Israel | Gowdy J.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Nunes P.A.L.D.,Ecosystem Services Economics Unit
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2015

Jellyfish outbreaks in the Mediterranean Sea are part of an anthropogenic alteration of the marine ecosystem and have been documented as health hazards and threats to tourism. Their impacts on human welfare have, however, been poorly quantified. A socioeconomic survey, carried out in summer 2013, captures the impacts of an outbreak of Rhopilema nomadica on seaside recreation in Israel. Welfare losses are estimated based on per-visit value and expected change in visits patterns. We estimate that an outbreak reduces the number of seaside visits by 3-10.5%, with an annual monetary loss of €1.8-6.2 million. An additional 41% of the respondents state that their recreational activities on the beach are affected by the outbreak. Through a contingent valuation, we find that 56% of the respondents state a willingness to contribute to a national environmental protection program with an estimated annual benefit of €14.8 million. These figures signal an opportunity to invest in public information systems. A pilot study for adaptation was conducted in Barcelona, whose results confirm the importance of the welfare benefits of real-time public information systems. This study provides a benchmark against which the economic impacts of jellyfish outbreaks on coastal recreation and potential adaptation policies can be evaluated. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Rodrigues L.C.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | van den Bergh J.C.J.M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | van den Bergh J.C.J.M.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | van den Bergh J.C.J.M.,VU University Amsterdam | And 3 more authors.
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2016

A choice experiment is undertaken to elicit preferences of scuba divers in the Marine Protected Area of Medes Islands (Spain). This is the first non-market valuation study of a typical Mediterranean habitat, the Coralligenous, which is characterized by high biodiversity, geomorphologic complexity and iconic species like gorgonians. This habitat is not only very attractive for scuba diving, but is also threatened by climate change and ocean acidification, which is our motivation for undertaking this valuation study. Choice attributes include the number of divers on a diving trip, underwater landscape, presence of jellyfish species, expected state of gorgonians, and price of a dive. Results of multinomial and random parameter logit models indicate a decrease in the attractiveness of Coralligenous areas for scuba diving as a result of both environmental pressures. Estimates of welfare values show that the local extinction of gorgonians had the highest negative effect on utility equivalent to a cost of €60 per dive, followed by abundance of stinging jellyfish with a cost of €26 per dive. Choice probabilities for the selection of different dive experiences indicate the highest rejection rates for the combined sea warming and acidification scenarios. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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