Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

Document Type



Socio-economics in an ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) process cover a wide range from specifying socio-economic objectives, respective indicators, organising stakeholder engagement, to data, methods and tools (e.g., environmental valuation and cost-benefit analysis) for example to identify issues, assess ecosystem services, provide an insight on human behaviour and compare alternative marine plans with potentially competing goals. In addition, social principles such as that of social equity have an important role to play in achieving sustainability in marine management. However, the use of socio-economics in making the ecosystem-based MSP framework operational, poses certain challenges to researchers, regulators and policy-makers. The purpose of this paper is first to present a brief overview of socio-economic input needs, with a special emphasis on the role of environmental valuation related to ecosystem services as a mean to integrate the ecosystem approach into marine planning and management, and related challenges as identified by planners and researchers. Then, conclusions and recommendations are offered overall regarding socio-economic input and in particular environmental valuation. Finally, it is noted that although, the focus of the paper is mainly European, most of the issues discussed apply equally to other locations.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.