Estimating the ecosystem service losses from proposed land reclamation projects: A case study in Xiamen

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    Land reclamation


    hrosed.e internal costs of these reclamation projects.

    2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    eraturee Groonotable bene

    involving over 1300 scientists and the rst attempt to fully interpret, valuation of ecosystem services plays an important role in linking

    Ecological Economics 69 (2010) 25492556

    Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

    Ecological E

    j ourna l homepage: www.e lseunderstand and assess the interrelation between ecosystems andhuman well-being at a global scale, mentions that ecosystem servicesare the benets which people obtain from ecosystems (MEA, 2003).This paper follows Daily (1997) and MEA (2003) in using the termservices to encompass both the tangible and intangible benetshumans derive from ecosystems, which are sometimes separated intogoods and services.

    The techniques for valuating ecosystem services have drawnattention in recent years (Lal, 2003; UN, 2003; Curtis, 2004; Heinet al., 2006; Dale and Polasky, 2007; Li et al., 2008; Yang et al., 2008;de Groot et al., 2010). Curtis (2004) described a new approach to

    human activities and natural systems. Traditional market cannotrecognize the economic impact of environmental damages ifecosystem services do not have a price. Existing technologies thatreduce the environmental impacts of human activities on ecosystemservices cannot be fully implemented if the environmental servicesthey preserve are free (MEA, 2005). Monetary valuation provides amean to allow unpriced services to be compared with services thathave market values. Valuation also enables the aggregation ofdifferent ecosystem services and allows full cost accounting.Unfortunately, there has been little study on the valuation ofecological losses from land reclamation (Peng et al., 2005; Xiongvaluing ecosystem services and goods, using

    Corresponding author. State Key Laboratory of MXiamen University, Xiamen 361005, PR China. Tel.: +82186913.

    E-mail address: (W. Chen).

    0921-8009/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier B.V. Aldoi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.07.031stanza et al., 1997). The, a monumental work

    ment and valuation to environmental management, and analyzedtrade-offs involved in land cover and land use change. The economicderive, directly or indirectly, from nature (CoMillennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA)Coastal management

    1. Introduction

    There is a growing volume of lit(Costanza et al., 1997; Daily, 1997; det al., 2007; Fisher et al., 2009). Mostecosystem goods and services as thon ecosystem servicest et al., 2002; Beaumonty, Costanza et al. denets human populations

    the combination of a multiple criteria analysis and a Delphi panel toassign weights to various attributes. Hein et al. (2006) analyzed thespatial scales of ecosystem services, and examined how stake-holders at different spatial scales attach different values toecosystem services. de Groot et al. (2010) provided an overviewof the challenges involved in applying ecosystem service assess-a surrogate market and et al., 2007; WaThis paper p

    coastal ecosystincluding the demethods and relethe study providassociatedwith l

    arine Environmental Science,6 592 2181907; fax: +86 592

    l rights reserved.Environmental damageCoastal ecosystem servicesEcosystem valuation

    signicantly higher than thAnalysis

    Estimating the ecosystem service losses fA case study in Xiamen

    Xuan Wang b, Weiqi Chen a,b,, Luoping Zhang a,b, Dia State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 3610b Environmental Science Research Center, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, PR Chinac Marine Policy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, U

    a b s t r a c ta r t i c l e i n f o

    Article history:Received 25 December 2009Received in revised form 21 July 2010Accepted 21 July 2010Available online 8 August 2010


    Economic valuation of ecosaccounting which may leadnegative impacts of land rtechniques, this study deecosystem services and forillustrate the framework tschemes have been propom proposed land reclamation projects:

    c, Changyi Lu a,b

    PR China

    m damages is an important building block in the development of full costimprovements in environmental policy making. Based on an analysis of themation on coastal ecosystem services and a review of different valuationps a framework for selecting relevant valuation methods for differentveloping total ecosystem loss estimates for land reclamation projects. Weugh a case study of Tong'an Bay, Xiamen, China where four reclamationThe results show that the costs associated with ecosystem damages are


    v ie locate /eco leconng et al., 2010).resents a systematic research on the valuation ofem service losses caused by land reclamation,velopment of a framework for selecting valuationvantmodels, and a case study in China. The results ofe much-needed information on the ecological lossesand reclamation, and help stakeholders and decision-

  • makers to make informed choices among various options and topromote sustainable marine resource uses.

    2. Methods

    2.1. The Negative Impacts of Land Reclamation on Coastal EcosystemServices

    Coastal ecosystems provide a variety of ecological services thatdirectly or indirectly translate to economic values to humans (MEA,2003; Hanley et al., 2003; Eggert and Olsson, 2009). Coastal waterssupport sh populations that constitute a signicant source of protein,

    2550 X. Wang et al. / Ecological Econosustain ecosystem stability through conservation of biodiversity,mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration, act as sinksfor byproducts of industrial or agricultural production, and providerecreational and aesthetic benets. This paper adopts the frameworkof the MEA (2003) as a baseline for the classication of coastalecosystems (Table 1). Marine and coastal natural resources are, for themost part, renewable. If properly managed, they should providecontinuing returns into the future without diminishing their produc-tivity (Remoundou et al., 2009). However, increasing human activitiesin coastal areas exert growing pressure on the marine and coastalecosystems. In order to ease the problem of land shortage, reclaimingland from the sea has become a common approach in many parts ofthe world. In fact, large-scale land reclamation has caused signicantdamage to coastal ecosystems and the services they provide. Landreclamation occupies coastal space, permanently change the intrinsicnatural quality (e.g., topography, physiognomy and shoreline) of acoastal ecosystem, and alter the hydrodynamic effect of sedimenttransport or inshore current systems, as well as endanger the animalsand plants (e.g., benthic organisms and mangroves) in and near thereclamation area (Lu et al., 2002), all of which will directly orindirectly damage the provisioning, regulating, cultural and support-ing services generated by the coastal ecosystem. For example,reclamation may change seaside and sandy beaches which providethe aesthetic and recreational service; it would reduce tide-absorbingcapacity of a bay, causing damage to waste treatment service; it maydestroy coastal plants and phytoplankton which play an importantrole in gas regulation service through photosynthesis; it may alsodestroy mangroves and coral reefs which provide erosion controlservice as natural coastal defense against storm surges and biodiver-sity maintenance service as important habitats for sh and wildlife.

    Ecosystems maintain their functional integrity through a naturalbalance of materials and energy owing through, cycling within, andleaving them. This equilibrium is supported by natural, physical,chemical and biological processes. Land reclamation may disturb theequilibrium or destroy coastal ecosystems (Wang and Chen, 2009).

    2.2. The Framework for Selecting Valuation Methods

    Although there has not been a well-dened approach to estimatethe losses of coastal ecosystem services so far, a range of methods for

    Table 1A general classication of coastal ecosystem services.

    Types of coastalecosystem services


    Provisioning services Food, raw materials, genetic resources, naturalmedicines, ornamental resources, water supply, space

    Regulating services Gas regulation, climate regulation, ood regulation,erosion control, waste treatment, biological control

    Cultural services Aesthetic, recreational, spiritual, science and educationSupporting services Primary production, soil formation, nutrient cycling,

    biodiversity maintenance

    Source: Drawn from MEA (2003) and adjusted for the marine environment based on

    Remoundou et al. (2009).resource valuation and ecosystem services valuation have beendeveloped (Farber et al., 2002; Freeman, 2003; Curtis, 2004). Thesemethods can be divided into three types: (1) Direct Market Approachis used wheremarket prices of outputs (and inputs) are available. Thisincludes productivity losses method, production function method andpublic pricing method; (2) Surrogate Market Approach is used toestablish a surrogate capital market fromwhich the shadow prices canbe derived, including substitute cost method, defensive expendituremethod, restoration cost method, travel cost method and hedonicprice method; and (3) Experimental Market Approach or Pseudo-Market Approach is used to construct a pseudo-market by directlysurveying a sample of individuals from relevant population. The mostcommonly used method is the contingent valuation method (CVM)which involves a questionnaire survey of a representative sample ofindividuals' willingness to pay to ensure or prevent a specicenvironmental change. Ecosystem valuation is typically a costly andtime consuming exercise. When valuation data are unavailable f