Connections Matter – Developing an ecosystem services flow based economic model to understand the interactions between adjacent land and marine based primary production systems to mutual benefit
Regional economic development is important in countries such as New Zealand which depend on a thriving primary production sector. Such regional development must encompass economic, social, environmental and cultural components and an Ecosystem Services framework is an ideal vehicle for this (MEA 2005). Ecosystem Service assessments have been applied to many sectors in NZ individually, and one such study done by Moana NZ on abalone identified land derived sediment as a major issue in coastal habitats and affecting seafood production.
The identification of the importance of adjacent land and marine activities on each other has led to the development of a new research proposal that explores the need to understand flows of ecosystem services between sectors, and the opportunity to develop new economic approaches to model these and enhance decision making across those sectors and within regions. This will potentially lead to better outcomes for all. A team from Scion, Moana New Zealand, Terra Moana, NIWA, Victoria University of Wellington, Market Economics, and Regional Groups including Local and Regional Government, Forestry, Conservation, Tourism and Iwi are developing the proposal.
The project will focus on the Marlborough Sounds as a case study area, developing a web of ecosystem service flows (focussing initially on forestry and seafood as these have had major ecosystem service assessments recently) and exploring new spatial economic approaches to model these. The development team seeks and would welcome any input and/or interest from the Marine ESP community including relevant and related projects, models, sectoral engagement and research by end January to contribute to this project design and, if successfully funded, implementation. Please contact [email protected]