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Ahtiainen H.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Artell J.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Czajkowski M.,University of Warsaw | Hasler B.,University of Aarhus | And 8 more authors.
Marine Policy

Marine environments and the ecosystem services they provide are threatened throughout the world. Using an extensive data set obtained from a coordinated survey across all nine littoral countries, this study examines the recreational use of and public perceptions towards the Baltic Sea, providing support for marine policies, including the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The findings indicate that the Baltic Sea is an important recreation area for residents of the littoral states, as the majority of people spend leisure time there. Swedes, Danes and Finns use the sea the most, and the most common activities are beach recreation and swimming. People are concerned over the state of the Baltic Sea, especially in Finland, Russia and Sweden. Poles, Danes and Finns have the most positive attitude towards contributing financially to improving the state of the Baltic Sea. Additional coordinated research efforts across all nine littoral countries are needed to quantify the monetary benefits of improving the state of the sea. However, even the present results provide evidence on the cultural importance of the Baltic Sea, suggesting that policy makers need to take stronger action to sustain the provision of recreational ecosystem services and safeguarding the well-being of marine ecosystems to the current and future generations. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Franzen F.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Kinell G.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy Ltd. | Walve J.,University of Stockholm | Elmgren R.,University of Stockholm | Soderqvis T.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy Ltd.
Ecology and Society

Stakeholder participation is increasingly seen as central in natural resource management. It is also required by the European Union Water Framework Directive, which identifies three levels of participation; information, consultation, and active involvement. In this paper we discuss the active involvement of stakeholders, using our experience from a case study in the Himmerfjärden region, which is a coastal area southwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Our study used the systems approach proposed by the European Union research project called Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System Assessment (SPICOSA), in which local stakeholders and a study site team constructed an integrated simulation model of a crucial coastal management issue. In this case the issue was nitrogen enrichment. We showed how stakeholder participation in the modeling process helped identify interesting and currently relevant management scenarios, and how the modeling process facilitated communication of the likely ecological, economic, and social effects of these scenarios to the stakeholders. In addition, stakeholders also reported social gains in terms of network building. We managed to actively involve local stakeholders in water issues, and the research process clearly strengthened the social capital in the Himmerfjärden region, and created a basis for future collaboration regarding water management. Our experience indicates that the approach we tried is a useful tool for promoting active stakeholder involvement in water management projects. Also, the results of our science and policy integration approach indicated that the study site team assumed a leadership role, which is a commonly recognized factor in successful natural resource management. © 2011 by the author(s). Source

Ostberg K.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Hakansson C.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Hasselstrom L.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy Ltd. | Bostedt G.,Umea University
Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics

Recognizing the important policy task of securing the benefits from marine coastal waters subject to time and funding constraints has increased interest in benefit transfer (BT). However, many of the advances in BT recommended by researchers would be too costly to implement. This paper presents two choice experiment (CE) studies on marine areas in Sweden where respondents from local and distant populations were surveyed. BT for attributes relevant to the European Union's Water Framework Directive and the implementation of special consideration zones in marine areas were evaluated by equivalence tests. A comparison of the performance between a "general" BT model including only easily available socio-economic information and a statistically "best-fitting" model that requires the collection of more detailed information shows very similar results. Using a general model saves money and time since the information needed can be easily obtained from public databases and it does not lead to any significant reductions in accuracy or reliability. The issue of including socio-economic information in CE modeling for BT is important, since the model specification will determine the type of information that must be collected at the policy site; however, the results are inconclusive as to whether it improves BT or not. © 2013 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. Source

Hasselstrom L.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy Ltd. | Hakansson C.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

We apply a split-sample contingent valuation survey to test whether the level of ecological information affects the willingness to pay (WTP) and valuation uncertainty for improved water quality. For respondents who are unfamiliar with water quality problems, the WTP is significantly different between the sample that received detailed ecological information and the sample that received fuzzy information. This study also provides new empirical evidence for the counterfactual; in a situation with high familiarity, more information does not affect mean WTP. The main recommendation to future valuation practice is to provide detailed ecological information in the case when many respondents are unfamiliar with the good. The level of information did not influence valuation uncertainty. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Ostberg K.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Hasselstrom L.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy Ltd. | Hakansson C.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Journal of Environmental Management

In this paper, we examine the feasibility of using an approach for estimating Willingness-To-Pay for marine environmental improvements, based on a holistic, policy-determined scenario. Conducting valuation studies based on a policy-determined scenario is beneficial for decision-makers in terms of practical applicability but also for research in terms of e.g. data availability. Using a case study in two Swedish coastal areas, we examine whether respondents are able to understand and attach a monetary value to these types of scenarios. The tested scenarios are based on improving water quality according to the EU Water Framework Directive and reducing noise and littering according to standard-type measures in a Swedish archipelago setting. The results are promising, paving the ground for future valuation studies using this approach. However, there might be tradeoffs, since the use of scenarios like this require much preparation by researchers and much efforts by respondents. We recommend environmental managers to adopt this approach when possible, but to have these potential tradeoffs in mind. Mean monthly WTP per household for the water quality improvement scenario is estimated to 71 and 102 SEK. 11In the fall of 2009, when the valuation study was carried out, 10 SEK corresponded to approximately 1 Euro. in the two study areas, respectively. The corresponding numbers for the less noise and littering scenario are 38 and 46 SEK. Valuation of noise and littering in archipelago areas has previously not been very common, making these estimates especially important for marine policy. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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