The fifth MOVE webinar that focused on the Sint Maarten case study took place on November 18 and was moderated by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) in coordination with the Wolfs Company.
The main presenters, Sem Duijndam (IVM) and Jonathan Schmiedel (IVM), focused on the economic valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services. Relevant covered topics include the use of the choice experiment method to assess respondent’s willingness to pay for a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g recreation and water quality) and the spatial variation of economic-relevant services. Studies were complemented with an economic appraisal of different environmental management scenarios and a cost-benefit analysis to understand which strategies enhance the economic value of the study area. Results indicated that environmental management approaches, such as mangrove restoration or the expansion of marine protected areas, are more beneficial for the economy than the business as usual or engineering-based approaches. Moreover, the presentations highlighted the importance of translating this type of studies into policies and initiatives that can have a positive impact for the environment of the study area.
This event was attended by 11 participants, mostly researchers and policy advisers from the environmental sector of St. Maarten (e.g. Nature Foundation St Maarten and The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance).
The fourth MOVE webinar, moderated by the University of Trento (Italy) and organized in coordination with the Regional Fund for Science and Technology of The Azores (FRCT, Portugal), took place on October 29. Its focus were the relevant results from the regional case study of The Azores, located in the Macaronesia biographical region.
The main presentations were led by the researchers Marta Vergílio (FRCT) and Ina Sieber (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany). Main topics covered the modelling of relevant ecosystem services in Terceira Island using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs tool (InVEST), and the impacts of using different Land Use/Land Covers datasets (CORINE, COS.A, and Sentinel2) for modelling outputs. In addition, model validation was highlighted for enhancing possible heterogenous results from using different LULC datasets in ecosystem services assessment. In this regard, when contrasting results are obtained, they need to be further validated with additional data sources such as matrix applications based on expert knowledge or participatory GIS Mapping. Finally, the main implications of this study for policy and decision making were discussed, specifically in terms of selecting the best LULC model depending on specific targets and policy goals.
This digital event was attended by 65 participants and an analysis of their profiles showed a heterogeneous representation. 60% of participants were stakeholders or partners from The Azores region and other areas of Portugal (SIMBIENTE Azores, University of The Azores, University of Aveiro, CIBIO-InBIO Portugal, Agricultural Association of Terceira Island, among other). Interestingly, the remaining 40% of attendees were members from research communities and the academic world from diverse areas of the world such as Latin America, mainland Europe (Italy, Slovakia, UK) and Southern Asia.