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Marine Policy
Volume 138, 2022, 104976

How and to what extent is ecosystem services economic valuation used in coastal and marine management in China?

Jing-Mei Lia,b, Na Wangb

Institute of Marine Development, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China.

Abstract

Ecosystem services economic valuation (ESV) is widely advocated as a useful tool to support ecosystem management decision-making. However, whether ESV is used and the application areas of ESV by decision-makers in coastal and marine management in China remain largely unexplored. This paper aims to determine whether ESV is used, the application areas of ESV and the possible limits of ESV in coastal and marine management in China. To characterize the classification, applications and limits of ESV, a questionnaire was designed, and a nationwide survey was conducted. Descriptive statistics addressing the application level and application areas of ESV were produced, and then, four regression models were run to examine the factors that limit the application of ESV in the decision-making process. The results show the following. (i) Use value information is being applied by decision-makers in coastal and marine management in China. More specifically, direct use value information is more frequently applied than indirect use value information. (ii) Nonuse values, i.e., existence value and bequest value, are still rarely applied in coastal and marine management in China. (iii) Theoretical and technical barriers are found to have more limitations on the application of nonuse value information than social and economic barriers.

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