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).