Posted on 20 December 2016

Overseas collaborations in ecosystem services

Kate Davies recently gave a plenary presentation about socio-cultural values and ecosystem services at an international workshop in Brussels.

Kate is a social scientist at NIWA and contributor to several Sustainable Seas research projects. She recently attended a JPI Oceans Ecosystem Goods and Services (EGS) Workshop, where she gave a plenary talk about Valuable Seas research into socio-cultural values and ecosystem services.

She focused on ways to link intangible or non-monetary values (such as spirituality or educational value) to the mapping and measurement of ecosystem services. This work will help decision makers, iwi, industries, researchers and other stakeholders to better understand the connection between human health and happiness and the ecological health of coasts and oceans. This information could help us make informed decisions about how to use and protect coastal and marine areas.

The workshop provided international expert guidance on the establishment of EGS workstreams to:

  1) Develop dynamic, multi-dimensional metrics to assess EGS

  2) Establish a strategic framework for assessing EGS

  3) Develop visualisation tools for EGS research

Over two days, the participants developed foundations for position papers on these three themes. These will be submitted to the JPI Oceans Management team for consideration and inclusion in a forthcoming JPI Oceans strategy on EGS.

“People were generally impressed by the work that New Zealand is doing on EGS, and felt our research is making an important contribution to the international dialogue,” says Kate.

“It was agreed that more social scientists are needed, and so JPI Oceans should seek to include more social scientists, particularly some who already work in Europe. There was also general agreement that more collaborations should be developed between European and New Zealand institutions, which I look forward to.”

The work of JPI Oceans is likely to provide opportunities for more collaborative workshops about EGS. 

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