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Valuing Marine Ecosystems


wg valmare mel austenMarine research has traditionally focused on physical, chemical and biological processes in the water body and its boundaries, whereas the field of marine related socio‐economics is much less studied and understood. Understanding the mechanisms and ways by which humans utilize marine resources and space directly or indirectly is essential for an integrated assessment and management of the coasts, seas and oceans, and will require an innovative interdisciplinary research approach. It is also an intrinsic requirement for achieving a genuine ecosystem approach to the management of marine resources.

The Marine Board has launched Working Group VALMARE to specifically target the development of tools for the valuation of marine ecosystem services and their benefits and the utilisation of these tools to facilitate decision making processes and sustainable management of coasts, seas and oceans and their intrinsic resources.

wg valmare 2nd meetingWorking Group Objectives

  • Highlight the importance of goods and services provided by marine ecosystems. 
  • Identify strategic (topical) areas for Europe in the realm of socio‐economic research related to marine ecosystems and the valuation of the services they provide. 
  • Provide recommendations to guide European research in the medium term (to 2020) to set standard methodology/guidelines for valuation of marine ecosystem services and to improve European competitiveness in this field. 
  • Suggest path towards bridging (i) valuation of marine ecosystems and the current European policy context and (ii) valuations and effective decision‐making procedures.


See the list here

  • Chair - Dr Melanie Austen, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK


  • Kick-off meeting, 14 May 2013, Brussels
  • 2nd meeting, 01 October 2013, Dublin 
  • Wrap-up meeting, 20 February 2014, London

 WG contact at Marine Board Secretariat: Kate Larkin Email