Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 8-15-2013

Abstract

Non-market valuation assesses the contributions of ecosystem services to human well-being by determining the preference of users. That is how much money users are willing to pay for ecosystem improvements or how much they are willing to accept for ecosystem losses. Through exploring these preferences, the natural capital can be accounted for economically and quantitatively. It can not only lead to better understanding of ecosystem benefits, but also make it possible to compare ecosystem services with other conventional goods and services (e.g. real estate) in monetary terms.

Shandong is a coastal province of China, which is located on the eastern edge of the North China Plain and extends out to sea in the form of the Shandong Peninsula (see fig. 1). The coastline is more than 3,000 km in length with some 296 islands. The coast comprises a variety of environments represented by rocky coasts, beaches, estuaries and river deltas, of which the

Yellow River delta has the largest, the most extensive and integrated wetland ecosystems in China. The diverse coastal resources support the prosperous development of marine-based industries, in 2010, which accounted for 16.5% of Shandong’s GDP . In 2011, the Chinese government launched the first ocean economic zone in Shandong, which signaled that Shandong coastal regions had become the focus of marine policy decisions. Since every decision should be based on accurate and inclusive values, the following questions arise:

• What benefits are related to coastal resources?

• What are these benefits worth to different stakeholders?

• How should we evaluate these benefits?

• Is there a difference among different valuation techniques?

The objective of this study is to identify the ecosystem services provided by coastal ecosystems in Shandong, China. By developing a non-market valuation system, the aim is to apply the range of methodologies to specific benefits derived from various kinds of coastal resources to estimate their values. The paper proceeds as follows. Section 2 demonstrates the demand for valuation of ecosystems services provided by coastal ecosystems in Shandong. A review of existing techniques for capturing the non-market values of coastal ecosystems and an analysis of which technique best suits which context and situation follow in Section3. Section 4 identifies the services and benefits derived from coastal ecosystems and develops a non-market valuation system.