The KZN estuarine fishery and estuarine ecosystem regulating services

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Chapter 2: Literature Review


The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the development of resource economic valuation techniques in the context of the concept of ecosystem services and critically assess knowledge gaps in valuing regulating services. There is a growing literature that attempts to internalise ecosystems’ attributes into development planning and policy analysis, through estimating and integrating shadow prices of ecosystem services and the trade-offs involved between elements in bundles of services impacted by development decisions. In spite of these efforts, the value of ecosystems’ assets and their services remain largely missing, and even when quantified, underestimated (Adamowicz 2004).
This is attributed firstly to our deficient understanding of the nature of the complex dynamics of the interactions between ecosystems’ functioning and human well-being (Perrings 2006). Gaps in current scientific knowledge of the interdependence between the coupled socio-ecological systems translate into misinformed decision making and adoption of wrong policies and actions that fundamentally result in unsustainable use of these natural assets and weak willingness to conserve them. Several factors that characterize the complex dynamics of socio-ecological interdependence are the cause of this. Among the main reasons is the fact that human society recognizes only the value of a subset of services that are directly used as final products for consumption,production or recreation. On the other hand, the role and value of other more fundamental services that are not directly used as final products, but form crucial supporting and regulating roles underlying the ecosystem functionality, are not recognized nor well understood.In spite of their crucial role as the basis of all other provisions of nature, the literature on valuing such intermediate services is sparse, leaving an important gap in our knowledge of sustainable management of ecosystems for human well-being.Perrings (2006) described several typical weaknesses in environmental economic study approaches. One of most significant weaknesses was that most environmental valuation studies had focussed primarily on the direct use values of the environment,and put comparatively little effort into understanding the indirect linkages between ecological functioning, ecosystem services and the production and consumption of other economic goods and services.There is thus a dearth of literature on the valuation of these sets of services (Barbier et. al. 2009), especially in dealing with the uncertainty over the supply of ecosystem services (Pindyck 2006).In response to these weaknesses, the MEA (2005 and 2007) introduced a radical new approach (or framework) to the analysis of the interface of the ecology and the economy. So radical is this approach that it has been described by Perrings (2006) as equal in significance (within the field of environmental economics) to the Hartwick rule for reinvestment of Hotelling rents.


Table of Contents 
List of Tables
List of Figures 
Schedule of Symbols 
1. Chapter 1: Introduction 
1.1 Motivation and problem statement 
1.2 Objectives of the study 
1.3 Hypothesis
1.4 Approach and methods 
1.5 Structure of the thesis
2. Chapter 2: Literature Review 
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Ecosystem services defined 
2.3 Environmental valuation techniques: a brief history and summary of future challenges 
2.4 The production function valuation approach 
2.5 Fisheries ecological production function models 
2.6 Conclusion
3. Chapter 3: Approach and methods of the study
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Advantages of the production function approach 
3.3 Evidence considerations and empirics 
3.4 Case study: marine and estuarine ecosystems in KZN 
3.4.1. The study area
3.4.2. Marine system description
3.4.3. Estuarine system description
3.4.4. Fish production
3.4.5. Fishing activities
3.5 The fishery ecological production function analytical framework 
3.6 Integration of ecological parameters as inputs into the production function 
3.7 Type and sources of the data
3.8 Conclusion
4. Chapter 4: Economic-ecological production functions approach to measuring the relationship between estuarine ecosystem attributes and fish production 
4.1 Overview 
4.2 The KZN estuarine fishery and estuarine ecosystem regulating services
4.3 Data sources and empirical model specification 
4.4 Empirical estimation results and analyses 
4.5 Discussion 
4.6 Conclusion
5. Chapter 5: Bio-economic fishery production model for analysis of the dynamic interactions between marine ecosystems and the fish production 
5.1 Overview 
5.2 The KZN line-fishery and supporting estuarine ecosystem attributes 
5.3 Data sources and the empirical model specification 
5.4 Empirical model estimation results 
5.5 Discussion
5.6 Conclusion
6. Chapter 6: Summary, conclusions and implications of the study 
6.1 Using ecological production function approaches to analyse complex ecological-economic interactions 
6.2 Dealing with data limitations 
6.3 New systems knowledge and insights into risks to ecosystems 
6.4 The “insurance value” of ecosystems 
6.5 Implications for coastal management and policy
7. References 
8. Appendix 1: Derivation of Equations 


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