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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT, 2018 VOL. 13, NO. 3, i–iv https://doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2018.1433765 EDITORIAL 1. Introduction 2. Lessons learned and key recommendations to operationalise MCES The ecosystem services concept has been increasingly Based on findings from the six papers included in this adopted to assess nature’s contributions to people and Special Issue, we provide an overview of the main to understand feedbacks within social-ecological sys- lessons learned and key recommendations for scien- tems. Yet, to be useful in decision-making, the scientific tists, policy-makers and practitioners who intend to knowledge developed around the ecosystem services operationalise MCES and apply ecosystem services concept and its frameworks needs to be operationalised science in environmental decision-making. and taken up by policy-makers and practitioners In the opening paper of this Special Issue, Verutes et al. (Primmer and Furman 2012). To help overcoming (2017) describe a science-policy process in Belize that led this critical challenge, IPBES, the Intergovernmental to the country’s first integrated coastal zone management Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and plan, which was approved by the Belizean government in Ecosystem Services was established in 2012 by national 2016. The authors provide details about the four crucial governments to set an interface between scientists, pol- steps of the process, namely, (1) project scoping and icy-makers and practitioners, and help setting the foun- stakeholder engagement, (2) compiling knowledge to dations for the incorporation of ecosystem services quantify ecosystem services and map coastal and marine science into policy formulation (Díaz et al. 2015, 2018). ecosystems and human activities, (3) developing future For marine and coastal ecosystems, dedicated clas- zoning and management options, and (4) conducting an sification systems (e.g., Beaumont et al. 2007; Carollo ecosystem service assessment. The integrated coastal et al. 2013), indicator sets (e.g., Böhnke-Henrichs zone management plan was co-developed with local sta- et al. 2013; Lillebø et al. 2016), a series of literature keholders, who contributed with data, participated in the reviews (e.g., Liquete et al. 2013; Garcia Rodrigues development of management scenarios, and reviewed et al. 2017), newly defined research priorities (Rivero and refined the final scientific outputs. The spatial plan and Villasante 2016), and sectoral analyses (e.g., considered the needs of multiple stakeholders, advanced Lillebø et al. 2017) have advanced the theoretical environmental management, and accounted for nature’s underpinnings of marine and coastal ecosystem ser- contributions to people. This science-policy process is an vices (MCES). However, attempts to operationalise example of how science can successfully inform marine and put MCES into practice remain remarkably planning decisions worldwide. scarce. To address this research gap, this Special The inclusion of ecosystem services into the Issue compiles papers in which findings and recom- Latvian marine spatial planning is reported by mendations resulting from MCES assessments were Veidemane et al. (2017). The authors map and assess taken up by policy-makers and practitioners, and MCES, and evaluate different uses of Latvian marine used in decision-making. In addition, several papers waters. The process involves a diverse set of stake- also provide insights on how scientific outcomes can holder groups who use MCES maps to visualise the better inform decision-making and have positive marine areas providing the most significant social impacts on the marine environment. benefits, and to discuss the potential impacts caused This Special Issue is a result of a joint collabora- by different uses of the sea. Including ecosystem tion between the International Council for the services into the country’s marine spatial planning Exploration of the Sea Working Group on was not without challenges. The authors had to over- Resilience and Marine Ecosystem Services and the come data scarcity issues on marine ecosystem struc- Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP) Marine Biome tures and processes, difficulties in MCES mapping Working Group. We received contributions from due to the multidimensional character of the marine participants of the European ESP Conference environment, challenges to define suitable spatial Session Informing marine and coastal policy using units, budget limitations, and time constraints. To ecosystem service assessments: evidence from real overcome methodological challenges, the authors world applications, convened by the ESP Marine combined benthic habitat maps as a proxy for map- Biome Working Group in Antwerp, Belgium, on ping MCES, expert knowledge to identify the poten- 22 September 2016. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. ii EDITORIAL Drakou et al. (2017) take stock of 11 European tial distribution of several services, and data from case studies to understand how MCES assessments landings of fish to assess the pelagic zone. They con- sider this spatial explicit MCES approach as a useful have been operationalised and taken up by decision- makers. To that end, the authors provide an overview strategy for stakeholders and policy-makers to of the main conceptual and methodological chal- address competing uses and benefits provided by the marine environment. lenges in MCES operationalisation from a researcher and practitioner’s perspective, indicate observed Trégarot et al. (2017) assess the indirect-use value impacts of such challenges, and specify applied solu- of several MCES provided by coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves in Mayotte, a small archi- tions that contributed to solving those challenges. The authors also provide recommendations for pelago of the Indian Ocean. The authors use produc- researchers and practitioners to maximise the impact tion functions, replacement cost, and benefit transfer methods to assess the monetary value of coastal pro- of MCES research in policy and decision-making. tection, fish biomass production, water purification, They recommend that ‘end users’ of MCES assess- ments should be engaged throughout the research and carbon sequestration. The analysis shows a lower economic value for the MCES provided by the eco- process; scientists and practitioners should collabo- systems negatively impacted by human activities as rate and share knowledge to fill disciplinary and compared to the value of MCES provided by the same knowledge gaps; civil society needs to be aware of ecosystems in a pristine state. Although concluding the importance of the coasts, seas, and oceans to their that conserving coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and own wellbeing to better comply with new policies and mangroves in Mayotte would make sense from an regulations; and that policy-making should consider economic perspective, the authors identify a paradox: plural views, social knowledge, and cultural and ethi- a higher monetary value can be attributed to a dete- cal values to increase the legitimacy of environmental riorating ecosystem as a production function can decisions. The paper ends with the authors’‘wish list’ increase in a degraded ecosystem state. This is the for future MCES research to reach and influence case for water purification and carbon sequestration policy and decision-making. provided by degrading coral reefs in Mayotte. As the In the closing paper of this Special Issue, coral reefs degrade, algae overgrow and the produc- Beaumont et al. (2017) detail their application of the tion functions of water purification and carbon Ecosystem Service Approach (ESA) at six marine and absorption increase. This paradox highlights the lim- coastal sites across South West England and North its of economic valuation, whose estimations need to West France. The sites varied in their ecology, scale, be carefully interpreted and accompanied with other issues and uses. However, to enable comparisons of elements when environmental decisions are taken the ESA, the interdisciplinary teams at all sites fol- (Gómez-Baggethun and Muradian 2015). lowed a collectively agreed approach. In all cases, the The pathways of MCES co-production are ESA was undertaken in close collaboration with local explored by Outeiro et al. (2017). The co- environmental managers and provided a wealth of production concept highlights the role of humans in results and data, which in many cases directly influ- ecosystem services delivery (Reyers et al. 2013). enced the management of the sites. In addition, given Ecosystem services are co-produced by a combination the variability of the sites and the methods used it of natural capital and different forms of non-natural was possible to draw six generally applicable recom- capital such as human, social, financial, and techno- mendations for the future application of the ESA: (1) logical capital (Palomo et al. 2016). Accordingly, invest resources in collective planning of ESA; (2) Outeiro et al. (2017) analyse the relationships and apply dynamic and connected approaches including trade-offs between MCES in three shellfisheries multiple ecosystem services; (3) undertake ESA at a from Galicia, Spain, and two small-scale fisheries local scale; (4) employ interdisciplinary research; (5) from Northern Portugal, with different levels of non- work proactively and transparently with data gaps natural capital inputs. Based on their results, the and uncertainty; (6) record ESA and resultant impact. authors hypothesise that property rights regimes, A key finding was that the primary barriers to suc- and associated management practices that favour cessful ESA were organisational and communication- the privatisation of common-pool resources seem to based issues, which if recognised and acknowledged increase non-natural capital inputs in the co- can be relatively easily overcome. production of MCES. This suggests that as MCES The six papers included in this Special Issue delivery becomes more reliant on non-natural capital provide a useful contribution to address the chal- inputs, the generation of ecosystem disservices and lenges and opportunities of operationalising MCES. trade-offs may increase. These findings may have The inclusion of MCES research findings and implications for the regulation of human activities recommendations in policy and practice is still in that rely on MCES, such as fisheries, aquaculture, or its infancy, but is gaining momentum. The marine seaweed harvesting. systems play an important role in major high-level INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT iii policy instruments, from the Paris Climate Drakou EG, Kermagoret C, Liquete C, Ruiz-Frau A, Burkhard K, Lillebø AI, Van Oudenhoven APE, Ballé- Agreement, in which the oceans are mentioned as Béganton J, Rodrigues JG, Nieminen E, et al. 2017. critical systems to be managed, to the United Marine and coastal ecosystem services on the science– Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Those policy–practice nexus: challenges and opportunities instruments require robust and complete MCES from 11 European case studies. Int J Biodivers Sci assessments that will help to better inform policy Ecosyst Serv Manag. 13:51–67. Garcia Rodrigues J, Conides A, Rivero Rodriguez S, and decision-making. Only if the challenges of Raicevich S, Pita P, Kleisner K, Pita C, Lopes P, Alonso operationalising MCES are addressed, MCES Roldán V, Ramos S, et al. 2017. Marine and coastal assessments can be thoroughly put into practice cultural ecosystem services: knowledge gaps and and fulfil their potential of supporting evidence- research priorities. One Ecosyst. 2:e12290. based environmental decisions that protect, con- Gómez-Baggethun E, Muradian R. 2015. In markets we serve and restore marine and coastal ecosystems trust? Setting the boundaries of market-based instru- ments in ecosystem services governance. Ecol Econ. around the world. 117:217–224. Lillebø AI, Pita C, Garcia Rodrigues J, Ramos S, Villasante S. 2017. How can marine ecosystem services support the Acknowledgements Blue Growth agenda? Mar Policy. 81:132–142. All authors are thankful to the International Council for Lillebø AI, Somma F, Norén K, Gonçalves J, Alves MF, the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and to the Ecosystem Ballarini E, Bentes L, Bielecka M, Chubarenko BV, Heise Services Partnership for its support. S. 2016. Assessment of marine ecosystem services indi- cators: experiences and lessons learned from 14 European case studies. Integr Environ Assess Manag. Disclosure statement 12:726–734. Liquete C, Piroddi C, Drakou EG, Gurney L, Katsanevakis S, No potential conflict of interest was reported by the Charef A, Egoh B. 2013. Current status and future pro- authors. spects for the assessment of marine and coastal ecosystem services: a systematic review. PLoS One. 8:e67737. Outeiro L, Ojea E, Garcia Rodrigues J, Himes-Cornell A, Funding Belgrano A, Liu Y, Cabecinha E, Pita C, Macho G, Villasante S. 2017. The role of non-natural capital in SV thanks the financial aid from the European the co-production of marine ecosystem services. 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Carollo C, Allee RJ, Yoskowitz DW. 2013. Linking the Int J Biodivers Sci Ecosyst Serv Manag. 13:19–34. Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard Veidemane K, Ruskule A, Strake S, Purina I, Aigars J, (CMECS) to ecosystem services: an application to the Sprukta S, Ustups D, Putnis I, Klepers A. 2017. US Gulf of Mexico. Int J Biodivers Sci Ecosyst Serv Application of the marine ecosystem services approach Manag. 9:249–256. in the development of the maritime spatial plan of Díaz S, Demissew S, Carabias J, Joly C, Lonsdale M, Ash N, Latvia. Int J Biodivers Sci Ecosyst Serv Manag. Larigauderie A, Adhikari JR, Arico S, Báldi A, et al. 2015. 13:398–411. The IPBES conceptual framework — connecting nature Verutes GM, Arkema KK, Clarke-Samuels C, Wood SA, and people. Curr Opin Environ Sustain. 14:1–16. Rosenthal A, Rosado S, Canto M, Bood N, Díaz S, Pascual U, Stenseke M, Martín-López B, Watson Ruckelshaus M. 2017. Integrated planning that safe- RT, Molnár Z, Hill R, Chan KMA, Baste IA, Brauman guards ecosystems and balances multiple objectives in KA, et al. 2018. Assessing nature’s contributions to peo- coastal Belize. Int J Biodivers Sci Ecosyst Serv Manag. ple. Sci. 359:270–272. 13:1–17. iv EDITORIAL João Garcia Rodrigues Evangelia G. Drakou Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, University of Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain Observation (ITC), Campus Do*Mar – International Campus of Excellence, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands Vigo, Spain Charlène Kermagoret firstname.lastname@example.org Département des Sciences Naturelles, http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4404-629X Institut des Sciences de la Forêt Tempérée, Sebastián Villasante Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, University of Canada Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain Campus Do*Mar – International Campus of Excellence, Nicola Beaumont Vigo, Spain Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management – Taylor & Francis
Published: Nov 29, 2017
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