|Integrated assessment and valuation of ecosystem goods and services provided by coastal systems|
|Wilson, M.A.; Costanza, R.; Boumans, R.; Liu, S. (2005). Integrated assessment and valuation of ecosystem goods and services provided by coastal systems, in: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) (2005). The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. pp. 1-24|
|In: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) (2005). The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. Royal Irish Academy: Dublin. ISBN 1-904890-09-1. 206 pp., more|
The goods and services provided by coastal systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the earth’s life support systems. They also contribute significantly to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent a significant portion of the total economic value of the global environment. Coastal systems including estuaries, coastal wetlands, river deltas and coastal shelves are particularly rich in ecosystem goods and services. They provide a wide range of highly valued resources including fisheries, open spaces, wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling, and recreational opportunities. In this paper, we present a conceptual framework for the assessment and valuation of goods and services provided by coastal systems. First, we elucidate a formal system based on functional diversity for classifying and valuing coastal ecosystem services, emphasizing that no single ecological or economic methodology can capture the total value of these complex systems. Second, we demonstrate the process of ecosystem service valuation using a series of economic case studies and examples drawn from peer-reviewed literature. We conclude with observations on the future of coastal ecosystem service valuation and its potential role in the science and management of coastal zone resources.