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From ecosystem services to benefits of the Baltic Sea - indicators and threats

image of From ecosystem services to benefits of the Baltic Sea - indicators and threats

Eutrophication, oil spills, and invasive species. Indicators and human benefits from ecosystem services of the Baltic Sea. These were the token of discussion at the ”Nordic Workshop on Economic Analysis of the State of the Baltic Sea, NorWEBS” in Helsinki on 19-20 November 2009, arranged by MTT Agrifood Research Finland. A joint researcher team of economists and marine experts assembled at the workshop to discuss the three main threats to the ecology of the Baltic Sea and find respective indicators of the state of Baltic Sea to be used in economic valuation. Economic valuation of the ecosystem services is required for a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on protective measures. Based on the presentations and discussions held in the NorWEBS-workshop we propose a framework for deriving the combined benefits from the Baltic Sea ecosystem services.

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Invasive Alien Species

Alien species introduced to coastal and marine ecosystems have both benefits and costs. The invasive alien species are policy relevant especially when the damages caused by the invader exceed the benefits. For example, in the US it has been estimated that the zebra mussel invasion from Europe costs 300-1000 million dollars annually (Pimetel et al. 2005). It can be argued that a policy intervention is required to internalise the damages caused by global trade induced invasive alien species (Perrings et al. 2005). However, ex-ante evaluation of effects of invasive alien species is not an easy task.

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