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Handbook on the Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

Handbook on the Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

Elgar original reference

Edited by Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Pushpam Kumar and Tom Dedeurwaerdere

In recent years, there has been a marked proliferation in the literature on economic approaches to ecosystem management, which has created a subsequent need for real understanding of the scope and the limits of the economic approaches to ecosystems and biodiversity. Within this Handbook, carefully commissioned original contributions from acknowledged experts in the field address the new concepts and their applications, identify knowledge gaps and provide authoritative recommendations.

Chapter 15: Game theory and marine protected areas: the effects of conservation autarky in a multiple-use environment

Maarten J. Punt, Hans-Peter Weikard and Ekko C. van Ierland

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics, environmental economics


Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are gaining momentum as a possible tool for the protection and management of the ecosystem services provided by our seas and oceans. Their general approval is demonstrated by the fact that the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity have set the target that 10 per cent of the world's oceans should be protected (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2010), even though currently no more than approximately 1 percent are protected (Spalding et al., 2010). In the literature the effectiveness and the possibilities of MPAs are debated. Some authors seem to consider MPAs as a panacea (e.g., Bohnsack, 1993); others are more sceptical about the possibilities (e.g., Hannesson, 1998; Anderson, 2002). This divergence is partly caused by the different meanings that people attach to 'MPA', especially to the term 'protected' (Jones, 2001). If 'protected' only means 'protected from fishing' and the goal is to protect or improve fisheries, then MPAs are no-take zones. If they are to be protected from all human uses, then the term 'marine reserve' might be more appropriate. Sometimes 'protected' is interpreted to mean 'protected from some uses but not from others'; in that case MPAs are essentially a zoning tool. In this chapter we will consider MPAs as areas that are protected from extractive uses and affect multiple ecosystem services, in our case food production (fisheries) and cultural and option use services (species protection).

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