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Calculating the Value of Coral Reefs

Discussion in 'Ocean Conservation' started by KathyV, May 16, 2019.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US

    "...the biggest obstacle to investing in natural infrastructure, such as wetlands and reefs, often is that experts have not figured out how to value the protection that these habitats provide in economic terms...This report [published by the US Geological Survey] shows that coral reefs in US waters, from Florida and the Caribbean to Hawaii and Guam, provide our country with more than US $1.8 billion dollars in flood protection benefits every year. They reduce direct flood damages to public and private property worth more than $800 million annually, and help avert other costs to lives and livelihoods worth an additional $1 billion. Rigorously valuing reef benefits in this way is the first step towards mobilising resources to protect them..."
    iamrushman and chillyinCanada like this.
  2. EireDiver606

    EireDiver606 DIR Practitioner

    Extremely ssential. They are supercities for marine life and generate millions for tourism.
    chillyinCanada and KathyV like this.
  3. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    Valuing reefs to birds or plants is a really difficult thing to do. So many different analytics come into play. I found the willing to pay to see a species or area groups surveyed were the 18 - 25 demographic a really interesting exercise.
    Then projecting things like erosion due to mangrove loss etc and a towns dependency on tourism to that area paint another picture. TBL analysis done on a simple lake can be incredibly complex - we've just stopped a million dollar expansion on a mine site due to an endangered flower.

    The bottom line is there really is no accurate $ figure we can put on X reef just estimates and projections but the true cost is way beyond monetary.
    KathyV likes this.
  4. JasmineNeedsGills

    JasmineNeedsGills Angel Fish

    Coming in late to this, but I feel it's worth a mention. There is a report produced by the accountancy firm Deloitte from 2017 that attempted this for the entire Great Barrier Reef, and estimated the value at $56bln. This included tourism and the jobs supported by that tourism (around 64,000) as well as flood protection, fisheries and the like - as well as estimating the intangible value of the reef to the "Brand" of Australia as a whole. I am not a marketing or business person so I have no idea how any of it works, but I'd wager a guess that Deloitte probably do.

    News article about the report: 'Too big to fail': Great Barrier Reef valued at $56b

    The report itself: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/economics/articles/great-barrier-reef.html

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