Economic Valuation


Recognizing the importance of economic valuation of coral reef and associated ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrasses, the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) established an Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Valuation of Coral Reef Ecosystems in January 2008 (21st General Meeting, Washington). The Committee was originally co-chaired by Mexico, the United States, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the ICRI Secretariat; it is now being chaired by the ICRI Secretariat assisted by CRIOBE-France (Nicolas Pascal). At the last ICRI Meeting (October 2014), new Terms of Reference were adopted.

The objectives are:

  • to raise awareness on the economic benefits produced by coral reef; and their positive economic return as a public investment
  • to encourage countries to integrate a mitigation strategy for coral reefs in their national laws
  • to provide advice and support to countries wishing to set up a legal framework to encourage private funding for coastal management.

Activities & Achievements

Under the auspices of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, a workshop “From Ecosystem Services Valuation to Action – Informing Decision Making in the Caribbean” was held in September 2014.

The Committee’s achievements so far have included the compilation of an inventory of studies, articles and publications on coral reef valuation, led by the WRI and the creation of an online valuation library, led by Marine Ecosystems Services Partnership (MESP). The Committee has been extended several times and new Terms of Reference were adopted at ICRI’s 28th General Meeting in October 2013. An implementation plan for the ToRs has been developed.

ICRI member the World Resources Institute (WRI) released a guidebook in March 2014 called Coastal Capital: Ecosystem Valuation for Decision Making in the Caribbean to help make coastal valuations more influential. This guidebook is intended for economic valuation practitioners—both economists and non-economists—who would like to conduct coastal ecosystem valuation to achieve influence and inform real-world decisions.