The ecological value of tropical marine habitats like coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass is clear, but what is their economic value? These habitats support important commercial and subsistence fisheries, provide opportunities for tourism and recreation, protect from storms and flooding, and can be important carbon sinks. Furthermore, degradation of these habitats can decrease or lead to loss of these valuable ecosystem services. We must understand the value of these ecosystem services and how they vary based on the condition of habitats in order to manage these areas effectively.
The Perry Institute is working with economists to understand the value of these ecosystem services and how MPAs can increase these values. The value of various ecosystem services of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass and other ecosystems will be assessed in several MPAs and unprotected areas to assess how values vary. We will then use this information to guide the expansion of MPAs in The Bahamas and elsewhere, and communicate how valuable MPAs are for coastal communities.
- The Nature Conservancy
- Bahamas National Trust
- Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation
- Stanford University’s Natural Capital Project