Ecosystem services valuation of the Nelson Bays: results and outcomes
This study found that in the year 2012, coastal marine ecosystems within the Tasman-Golden Bays study area made a net total economic value contribution to human welfare of $4,797M/yr, approximately 131% of Nelson Tasman GDP for the same year. Removal of market value estimates from this net total associated with coastal fisheries harvest results in a slightly lower net total economic value estimate of $4,795M/yr, an estimate that it currently absent from regional economic accounts used to estimate GDP. Total net value estimates were also made for individual ecosystems: continental shelf $1,493M/yr, estuaries $438M/yr, lagoons $19M/yr, intertidal $1,431M/yr, saltmarsh $71M/yr, seagrass at $922M/yr, rocky reefs $5M/yr, sand, beach and dunes $418M/yr.
An effort has also been made within this study to position ecosystem services value estimates for coastal marine ecosystems with local regional terrestrial ecosystems. This was done for a couple of reasons. First, the Nelson Tasman region is home to 3 national parks (Abel Tasman 225.41 km2; Nelson Lakes 1,017.53 km2; and Kahurangi 4,520 km2) and a wildlife sanctuary (i.e. Farewell Spit) that has international Ramsar status. These ecological assets contribute immense recreational value to the coastal marine ecosystems in our study area. Second, the wellbeing of coastal marine and terrestrial ecosystems are inextricably interlinked, in particular through coastal catchments, rivers (i.e. aquatic ecosystems), vegetation cover, wildlife habitat and the role of coastal marine ecosystems in supporting the regional economies.
This study found that in the year 2012, terrestrial ecosystems adjacent the Tasman-Golden Bays study area made a net total economic value contribution to human welfare of $3,859M/yr, approximately 105% of Nelson Tasman GDP for the same year. Removal of market value estimates from this net total associated with coastal primary industries (i.e. horticulture, agriculture and forestry) results in a slightly lower net total economic value estimate of $1,725M/yr, approximately 47% of Nelson Tasman GDP; a total value estimate that it currently absent from regional economic accounts used to estimate GDP. When combined, in the year 2012 marine and terrestrial ecosystems contributed net total economic value estimate to human welfare of $8,656M/yr. If this combined total is adjusted by the removal of market-based marine and terrestrial value estimates it results in a combined NTEV of $6,520M/yr, approximately 179% of the Nelson Tasman GDP for 2012. These net total economic value estimates highlight the economic importance of the terrestrial-aquatic-marine ecosystem to the Nelson Tasman regional economy. Another interesting finding of this study is that the NTEV estimate for coastal marine ecosystems (i.e. $4,797M/yr) in our study area is larger than the NTEV estimate for terrestrial ecosystems (i.e. $3,859M/yr). These results highlight the importance of coastal marine ecosystems to the Aotearoa New Zealand market economy.
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