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Kristīne Pakalniete shares her thoughts on the work and expected results of Activity 1 of the Helcom BLUES project

December, 2021

In the interview Kristine Pakalniete says: “The HELCOM BLUES Activity 1 “Effectiveness and measures” supports the design and implementation of effective policies for reaching good state of the Baltic Sea environment. Activity 1 produces information on the effects, sufficiency, costs and benefits of measures for reducing pressures and protecting the marine environment. Such analysis accounts the links between human uses, the marine ecosystem and human well-being, and assesses the welfare impacts of protecting the marine ecosystem.”
See the whole interview here and results of the Helcom BLUES project at and-resources/.
The EU co-funded project “HELCOM Biodiversity, Litter, Underwater noise and Effective regional measures for the Baltic Sea” (Helcom BLUES) supports development of regionally coordinated measures and assessments of the state of the Baltic Sea in relation to relevant pressures affecting the sea. AKTiiVS (Kristīne Pakalniete) is involved in the project’s Activity 1 on the analyses to support effective regional measures and policies, based on a sub-contract with the coordinating partner HELCOM secretariat.

A publication on the economic valuation of ecosystem service benefits and welfare impacts ofoffshore Marine Protected Areas

September, 2021

A newly published article provides novel approach and evidence on the benefits of marine ecosystem services and welfare impacts of potential offshore Marine Protected Areas in Latvia. The results are published in an open access scientific 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. Available here

The study evaluated benefits from ecosystem services (ES) provided by offshore marine areas, citizens’ willingness-to-pay for potential changes in the provision of ecosystem services, and welfare losses to citizens due to restrictions on economic activities from establishing new offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Latvian waters. Scenarios for the economic valuation were based on analysing the supply of ES from the protected marine habitats, showing changes in the ES supply in policy relevant scenarios of the MPA size. The study evaluated a wide array of ES delivered by offshore protected habitats and revealed that citizens’ willingness-to-pay for preserving habitats and ES supply exceeds their welfare losses from restrictions in economic activities. The approach supports the prioritisation of habitat types according to their contribution to ES supply and benefits for citizens. The analysis can be complemented with spatial data regarding distribution of habitats, providing an opportunity to identify areas with the highest ES benefits to support marine protection and spatial planning.

The article has been prepared based on results of two projects – the BONUS research project “Baltic Sea Spatial Planning for sustainable Ecosystem Services” (BONUS BASMATI) and the national project “Improving knowledge on state of the marine environment” funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

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