environmental valuation and tourist dollars
Milen.Dyoulgerov at noaa.gov
Tue Nov 21 13:35:58 EST 2000
Everyone is busy nowadays and I do not find this a sufficient excuse for
abusing the coral list. I believe, it was clarified more than a year
ago that the list should NOT be used for such exchanges. And, by the
way, I personally found Dr. Spurgeon's entry rather informative.
With best wishes for the holidays,
Rick Grigg wrote:
> Dear Dr. Bla Bla,
> Please be much more concise next time.
> A busy coral lister
> At 02:14 PM 11/21/00 -0000, Spurgeon,James wrote:
> >In response to some recent issues raised regarding the problem of "tourist
> >dollar values", I'd like to make the following points:
> >In an ideal world there would be no need for the contentious placing of
> >money values on environmental resources like coral reefs. However, like it
> >or not, we don't live in an ideal world. We live in a world with scarce
> >resources where many decisions are taken daily by individuals, businesses
> >and Governments all of which result in trade-offs. In the past, those
> >decisions have generally been based on conventional market-based economic
> >values. Consequently, economics has been used to justify developments and
> >resource use without due consideration of the full environmental and social
> >effects. As a result, many damaging and unsustainable decisions have been,
> >and continue to be made.
> >This is beginnning to change with the introduction of environmental
> >economics, environmental valuation and concepts such as "Total Economic
> >Value" (TEV). In comparison to economics and biology, environmental
> >economics is still very much in its embryonic stages. Thus although
> >environmental valuation techniques are far from perfect, they are
> >continually improving. Despite this, no single decision-making tool can
> >adequately resolve all environmental problems. Environmental valuation is
> >thus a powerful tool that should be used alongside others (e.g. EIAs,
> >regulations, protected areas etc). It is powerful because it can translate
> >environmental impacts into monetary values, which, if correctly valued,
> >speak far louder than qualitative descriptions. Decision-makers can readily
> >relate to monetary values, but only if they believe them. Environmental
> >valuations must therefore be carried out properly.
> >Tourist values are only one component of TEV. At present, they are
> >generally the most obvious reef value and seemingly the most important in
> >terms of generating dollars. However, it is essential to think holistically
> >about all relevant environmental and social values. As coral-listers have
> >indicated, many other coral reef values exist. It is vital that we gain a
> >far better understanding of these (direct, indirect and non-use values) and
> >begin to develop effective mechanisms and sound arguments to capture these
> >benefits. This is what the study on sustainable financing I presented in
> >Bali is helping to address (to be submitted to the Bali proceedings). The
> >aim is to hopefully apply the principles and methodology developed in the
> >first phase of the study to three MPA sites next year. Tourist user fees
> >are merely the tip of the iceburg.
> >In further support of using environmental valuation, I am now successfully
> >using it in EIAs to help justify expensive scheme modifications (e.g. for
> >port, power plant & pipeline developments) mitigation and compensation
> >measures, and comprehensive monitoring programmes needed to protect corals
> >and other marine habitats.
> >I am also involved in two national R&D studies for the UK Environment Agency
> >to develop a better understanding of non-use/passive values (e.g.
> >existence/bequest/option motives) relating to inland fish stocks and water
> >levels in rivers. The studies involve extensive stakeholder analysis and
> >large scale resource valuation surveys (using the contingent valuation
> >method). The ultimate aim is to determine relatively robust non-use values
> >for use in Government decion-making. Non-use values are a significant
> >component of conservation value that are usually ignored. Our research
> >demonstrates that strong non-use/passive values are held by both non-users
> >and users of the resource. Such values can be estimated in monetary terms
> >(to a degree) and there are plenty of ways of capturing the value (albeit
> >sometimes potentially introducing problems of a different nature).
> >One of the R&D studies is seeking to gain a better understanding of
> >different categories of resource users. This will have ramifications for
> >valuing tourist benefits and for undertaking economic impact assessments of
> >coral reefs (e.g. with respect to pre-planned and incidental
> >diving/snorkelling trips and apportioning tourism expenditures).
> >Unfortunately, in the growing literature on the tourism value of corals,
> >dubious and incorrect assumptions are often being made regarding links
> >between coral reefs, tourism expenditures and tourism benefits.
> >The point is, environmental economics has a potentially immense role to play
> >in the future of coral reef conservation if used appropriately. A number of
> >excellent examples of using environmental economics for coral reef
> >conservation can now be found in:
> >Cesar, H. (Ed.) (2000), "Collected Essays on the Economics of Coral Reefs",
> >CORDIO, Kalmar University, Kalmar, Sweden.
> >With respect to my pre-conference request to coral-listers for information
> >to help with my sustainable financing study, I'd like to thank those that
> >provided useful information and contacts. The response was not
> >overwhelming, but included:
> >* data on the coral trade in Fiji
> >* reference to the sand supply function of corals
> >* and reference to:
> >www.aquariumcouncil.org <http://www.aquariumcouncil.org/>
> >"A valuation book by Alan White and Trinidad on the Philippines"
> >"Integrated Coastal Zone Management of Coral Reefs: Decision Support
> >Modelling" - by Kent Gustavson, Richard M. Huber, and Jack Ruitenbeek,
> >I hope this helps.
> >James Spurgeon
> >Principal Environmental Economist/Scientist
> >Gibb Ltd
> >Gibb House
> >London Rd
> >RG6 1BL
> >Tel: 0118 963 5000
> >Fax: 0118 926 3888
> >Email: jspurgeo at gibb.co.uk
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> The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
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The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
sponsors coral-list and the Coral Health and Monitoring Program
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