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Identifying Consensus on Coastal Lagoons Ecosystem Services and Conservation Priorities for an Effective Decision Making: A Q Approach
- Sy, Mariam Maki, Rey-Valette, Hélène, Simier, Monique, Pasqualini, Vanina, Figuières, Charles, De Wit, Rutger
- Ecological economics 2018 v.154 pp. 1-13
- coastal water, decision making, decision support systems, ecosystem services, ecosystems, prioritization, stakeholders
- Coastal lagoons ecosystems, while representing benefits for the local populations, have been subjected to high anthropogenic pressures for decades. Hence, conservation measures of these ecosystems are urgently needed and should be combined with their sustainable uses. To address these issues, new research avenues for decision support systems have emphasized the role of the assessment of ecosystem services for establishing conservation priorities by avoiding monetarization approaches. These approaches, because they flatten the various values of nature by projecting them on the single monetary dimension, are often rejected by the stakeholders. We undertake a Q analysis to identify levels of consensus and divergence among stakeholders on the prioritization of ecosystem services provided by two French Mediterranean coastal lagoons areas. The results highlighted that there is a strong consensus among categories of stakeholders in the study sites about the paramount importance of regulation and maintenance services. Three groups of stakeholders, each sharing the same points of view regarding ecosystem services conservation, were identified for each study site. As a non-monetary valuation, Q methodology is very instrumental for the new pluralistic approach of decision support by capturing the values expressed by the stakeholders, without triggering a rejection reflex due to the monetarization.