Saturday, 27 June 2015

The economics of marine conservation

When the New Economics Foundation came to Sidmouth during Climate Week, they focussed on the relationships which make up a healthy coastal economy:
Futures Forum: Climate change: and coastal communities >>> "We need to make sure businesses and communities are more resilient."

In this part of the UK, these elements are an important part of the political scene:
Futures Forum: Fishing, Devon and the General Election

At the recent Sea Fest in Sidmouth, there was a lot of positive interchange:
Futures Forum: Sea Fest: Inshore fishing traditions gather in Sidmouth

Ultimately, all the parties need to work together:
Futures Forum: Inshore fisheries: too important to ignore?

This was the theme in a recent study from the Marine Socio-Economics Project:

Helping environmentalists talk economics

Photo credit: © Chris Williams

The UK economy is heavily dependent on its marine environment. From oil and gas exploitation, to ports, shipping, fisheries, and even recreation – these industries employ nearly 900,000 people and are a key component of the Government economic growth strategy for 2020.
While of great economic and social value, these activities pose a number of challenges – from loss of biodiversity to ecosystem damage. Marine conservation activists and NGOs are actively engaged with such environmental issues, but the associated socio-economic dimension should also be a key consideration.
A study by the Tubney Charitable Trust highlighted that a greater awareness of the social and economic issues surrounding the use of the sea would help NGOs campaign more effectively for marine conservation and widen their understanding of the socio-economic impacts of their campaign demands.
The ability to fully engage with these debates is fundamental to effectively influencing decision-makers in the UK Government and private industry stakeholders alike.
The Marine Socio-Economics Project (MSEP)
Since 2012, the Marine Socio-Economics Project (MSEP) has been building capacity and cooperation between NGOs working on marine conservation and fisheries issues. By increasing the socio-economic literacy and confidence of NGO staff we have been developing their ability to influence conservation policy through a solid economic understanding of marine environmental issues which often frames the debate.
The project was funded by the Tubney Charitable Trust and coordinated by NEF in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), The Wildlife Trusts and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). The shared vision for the MSEP is for individuals and groups to make the economic case for the long-term, sustainable use of the marine environment. To help understand and integrate social and economic considerations within marine policies, in stakeholder engagement, in working practise and campaigns.
After three years, the project has reached its conclusion – but we want this work to continue. That’s why we’re releasing the full MSEP resource pack online. This collection of briefings, slide decks, and other information is intended for anyone with an interest in economics, marine conservation, marine renewables, or coastal economies.
Why the project needs to continue
Socio-economic evidence is essential if we’re to win the arguments on marine conservation. Biological data alone will not guarantee the management and conservation of public resources.
Individuals, businesses and communities across the UK depend on healthy seas. If these benefits are to be available to future generations then our use of natural resources must be sustainable – the challenge now is for economic decision-making to reflect these long-term interests.

Helping environmentalists talk economics | New Economics Foundation

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