• Summary

Encouraging coastal and marine restorative economies in Aotearoa New Zealand

This summary lays the foundations for developing restorative economies in Aotearoa New Zealand marine and coastal spaces through a desktop review of existing literature and local and international restoration initiatives.

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Restorative economies: when restoration initiatives become part of the blue economy

Numerous economic opportunities have been identified within the protection and restorations of coastal and marine ecosystems. Restorative economies differ from traditional restoration initiatives in that they merge ecosystem restoration with business activities. They are practical models that (1) foster new investment opportunities and business enterprises, aiming to (2) reduce and remove drivers of ecosystem degradation and recreate ecosystems.

Insights from coastal and marine restoration initiatives
  • A desktop review of restoration initiatives in the blue environment helps us to identify common factors of conservation-focused initiatives and to understand how to develop such initiatives into restorative economies. The review provides insights about the range of blue ecosystems covered, the scale and scope of the initiative, key players, and funding sources.
  • We observe standard features, including:
    • The scale of restoration initiatives ranges from small community-driven solutions to large-scale projects and from a single ecosystem, eg mangroves, to multiple ecosystems, ie seascapes.
    • Upscaling restoration initiatives is possible when the initial restoration targets have been met, providing reasons to expand efforts.
    • Scaling-up restoration projects to meet international commitments involves many players from diverse backgrounds. This is seen in international models where the projects have been used as a tool to meet national commitments to the Paris Agreement.
    • Local volunteers play a large part in the success of restoration initiatives.
    • Science plays an essential role.
    • Funding comes from various sources (private, philanthropic, and government)
Assessing restorative economies: a value proposition

We can identify specific needs for investment opportunities in restorative economies by undertaking assessments across social, cultural, environmental, and financial attributes.

Such assessments establish:

  • Current conditions in the marine and coastal economy.
  • Trends and the drivers for change.
  • Opportunities and risks to economic diversification and environmental effects.
  • The expected results and benefits to society.
Barriers and opportunities to restorative economies

With an increasing call to reduce environmental impacts, coupled with the understanding of human dependence on coastal and marine environments, we expect restorative economies to be widely implemented. However, this is not the case and global risk assessments reveal that nature loss and climate change threatens economies and general wellbeing. To understand why and determine how we can encourage them in Aotearoa New Zealand, we identify barriers and opportunities to implementing restorative economies.

  • Encouraging coastal and marine restorative economies summary

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