Improving knowledge on state of the marine environment

A national research study on economic and social analysis of the use and protection of the marine environment.

The study was conducted as part of a project “Improving knowledge on state of the marine environment”, which was implemented by the Latvian Ministry of Environment Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) and contracted research institutions.

Project number: 17-00-F06803-000001.

Funded by: EU European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Project implementation time: 30.06.2017. – 30.06.2022.


AKTiiVS was contracted by the MEPRD for conducting a study on building knowledge and information base for the economic and social analysis (ESA) of marine water use and achieving marine environmental targets. The work aimed to conducting research and developing national methodologies and assessments to support implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EK) in Latvia. The study included 6 themes:

  1. ESA of the use of marine waters, 
  2. assessment of costs of degradation of the marine environment,
  3. assessment of risk of failing good environmental status (GES), evaluation of potential new measures for the program of measures (PoM), including assessment of costs and cost-effectiveness analysis of the measures,
  4. socio-economic impact assessment of the proposed new measures, including cost-benefit analysis,
  5. national economic (monetary) valuation studies for assessing benefits of marine ecosystem services and protection of the Latvian marine environment,
  6. evaluation for possible exceptions of implementing measures due to “disproportionate costs”.

The work also involved national representation in international information and experience exchange (e.g. work of the EU MSFD working group POMESA) and regional coordination (e.g. HELCOM activities for the regional ESA and updating the Baltic Sea Action Plan).

© Photo: The national report AKTiiVS (2018).

The study results are provided in a series of reports. A summary of the final report is available (in Latvian) here. The reports with detailed results are available here.

The list of the reports (all reports are prepared in Latvian):

AKTiiVS (2018) Assessment of state of the marine environment (2018): Economic and social analysis

AKTiiVS (2022) Summary on assessment of measures and proposals for the updated PoM.  

Separate thematic report for each Descriptor with failure of GES, including detailed information on methodologies and assessments concerning gap assessment (sufficiency of measures and assessment of risk of failing GES), proposed measures, description and evaluation of potential new measures (costs, cost-effectiveness, benefits): AKTiiVS (2022) Assessment of risk of failing GES and proposals for the updated PoM concerning D1 benthic habitats, D1 sea birds, D1 seals, D2 alien speciesD5 input of nutrients, D8 hazardous substances in the marine environment and D10 marine litter

Reports on the conducted national monetary valuation studies:

See also a scientific (peer-reviewed) article Pakalniete K., Ahtiainen H., Aigars J., Andersone I., Armoškaite A., Hansen S.H., Strāķe S. (2021) Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Service Benefits and Welfare Impacts of Offshore Marine Protected Areas: A Study from the Baltic Sea. Sustainability, 2021, 13, 10121,

AKTiiVS (2022) Socioeconomic assessment of marine ecosystem services.AKTiiVS (2022) Evaluation for possible application of exceptions for implementing measures due to disproportionate costs.

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