Valuing Coastal and Ocean Ecosystem Services: The Paradox of Scarcity for Marine Resources Commodities and the Potential Role of Lifestyle Value Competition
56 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2017 Last revised: 13 Jul 2017
Date Written: March 1, 2007
In their seminal -- if controversial -- 1997 article in Nature, Robert Costanza and his colleagues declared that the ecosystem services provided by open ocean and coastal ecosystems make up almost two-thirds of the $33 trillion value of the world's ecosystem services. However, in the United States, that intrinsic value has not translated into a political will to better protect these marine ecosystems through marine protected areas and marine reserves, despite many recent calls for the United States to do so, including from the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.
This paper explores the potential of newly emerging markets for the "lifestyle values" of coastal ecosystem amenities to create a political will to protect these ecosystems. Specifically, the paper argues that marine ecosystems have suffered as a result of a lack of multi-use market competition for marine resources amenities but that emerging markets for some of these amenities, in the form of "lifestyle value" marketing for ocean and coastal tourism and limited development residential communities, may be able to stand proxy for a demand for intact and functional marine ecosystems as a whole. As a result, this new competition may help to create the political will to protect marine ecosystem services.
Keywords: ecosystem services, ocean, coast, coastal, marine, ecological economics
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