Building the future by doing more together

MCES - The Economic Valuation and Governance of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services
CESAM Responsible researcher - Henrique Queiroga
Programme - PRODER-Sub-program; Promotion of K & D - Measure 4.1. Cooperation for Innovation. PA46223-Partnership 469
Execution dates - 2014-03-01 - 2016-02-28 (24 Months)
Funding Entity - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Iniciativa Gulbenkian Oceanos)
Funding for CESAM - 237360 €
Total Funding - 468720 €
Proponent Institution - Nova School of Business and Economics
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro

The MCES research project will be guided by the following central research question:

What is the economic value of marine and coastal ecosystem services provided by the Peniche-Nazaré coast and adjacent sea?

In addition, the research project should also contribute to answer the following secondary research questions: (i) to include a MCES assessment for the whole Portuguese coast, and (ii) to launch, in collaboration with the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics - INE, a pilot study in natural capital accounting in order to incorporate the economic value of MCES into national environmental satellite accounts and/or into national tourism satellite accounts.
In what concerns the main research question, what is at stake is the sustainable management of the use of the existing ES provided by the study site, which encompasses two critical areas of research that aim at contributing to a better understanding of the links between management and use of natural systems and impact on human well-being: (i) how can we robustly model multiple and linked ecosystem processes and services in the context of human decision-making? (ii) how does conservation of ecosystems and changes in ecosystem service flows affect human well-being and what policy instruments can we use to manage human impacts on those services equitably and efficiently? (iii) how can we design policies and institutions to sustainably manage ecosystems and the services provided?
While progress has been made in the integration of economics and ecological sciences for understanding ES, this is still a field in its earlier stage. Our ability to deliver robust science for decision-making at the necessary policy relevant scales, while growing rapidly, remains limited. In order to comply with the objectives, the proposal is structured according to the following research topics:

A- Study Site Characterization and Policy issues: Assessment of the status and trends of marine and coastal ES at the study site - Peniche-Nazaré coast and adjacent sea, assessment of current anthropogenic impacts and relevant policy issues.
B- Valuation of ES at the study site: Total economic value of the selected MCES using the most appropriate valuation methods.
C- Modelling and policy issues: Using scientific results to answer policy questions concerning the study site. Integrated Economic-Ecosystem Models for MCES Policy Analysis.
D- Natural Capital Accounting of MCES
E- National Level Assessment of MCES

Therefore, while issues A, B, and C are instrumental to answer the main research question, issues D and E concern the secondary lines of research, as stated above. A multidisciplinary approach will be developed for this case study by building research teams consisting of economists and natural scientists. Therefore, permanent interaction between the two scientific areas (economics and natural sciences) is a distinguishing characteristic of the current project, as required by the Terms of Reference of the call.

Members on this project

Cristina B. Pita
Henrique Queiroga
Principal Investigator
João Serôdio
Juan Bueno Pardo

Marina R. Cunha
Ricardo Calado

CESAM Funding: