Functional Valuation of Ecosystem Services on Bonaire

The Challenge:
How to “ecologize” economic valuation of ecosystem services? The functional value of coral reef ecosystems, and the capacity of coral reefs to provide these services need to be understood in order to say something about the production of these services in the future.

Bonaire_dive

The Approach:
This study measured the functional value, defined as the ecological importance of a habitat, on an ordinal scale with four levels (0-­‐3). The TEEB theoretical framework was applied by studying the underlying ecological functions, processes and structures of coral reefs that determine the capacity to deliver coral reef ecosystem services through a literature review. The functional group approach was used as a measure of the importance of habitats based on the level of representation of fish and coral  functional groups. The methodology to analyze the functional value was inspired by a study of Harborne   (2006) that established the functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to   ecosystem processes.

Results & Recommendations:
Outcome of this research are matrices presenting relationships between socio‐economic services and ecological functions, processes and fish and benthic species representing a functional role. Another outcome are maps presenting the functional value of each location to support twelve ecosystem services based on the primary data collected. These maps were analyzed taking into account resource   use on Bonaire and show which area are of high importance for each service. This research is innovative   in its attempt to link the economic value of ecosystem services with an ecological value of habitats to support these ecosystem services. In addition the survey of benthic cover and fish biodiversity and abundance has not been done at such a large scale according to our knowledge since the mapping of Bonaire in 1985.

Downloadable outputs: