Economic and Social Valuation of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem Services
The present report is a first estimation of value of the Ecosystem Services - for human wellbeing, social welfare and economic growth - provided by the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem´s marine and coastal ecosystems. These ecosystems comprise of rich and diverse marine habitats, with an abundance of marine flora and fauna, especially fish, and ecologically important coastal habitats like mangroves, estuaries, seagrass beds and meadows, and extensive sandy beaches and dunes. All these ecosystems both represent important habitats for animals and plants, as well as crucial sources of income for local populations and national budgets. The estimation of the "monetary value" of these ecosystems was based on a formerly developed methodology applied in the Guinea Current LME region, and is a first and rough attempt to depict the importance of the ecosystems in monetary terms, which is always a difficult endeavor, especially with regard to the fragmentary data situation in the region. Accordingly, distributional effects of the values generated are not being analyzed in the current study. Although conservative estimations were used throughout the report (i.e. in case two or more figures or assumptions were available, the lower or more conservative one was always chosen), the resulting figures are nevertheless clearly demonstrating the importance of the marine and coastal ecosystems of the CCLME for West African societies: the CCLME ecosystems generate a yearly economic value of around 11,7 billion U$. One hectare of mangroves alone provides ES valued 2.235 U$/a, the most part of it credited to coastal protection (versus storms and erosion), the provision of fish nurseries, and climate regulation; put differently, the destruction of one hectare of mangroves costs over 2.000 U$ per year (which does not include the damages resulting from the emission of "blue carbon").
22 Mar 2021