Webinar: Valuing and managing marine and coastal ecosystem services

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Professor Robert Costanza

In this webinar, guest speaker Professor Robert Costanza from Australian National University will discuss how ecosystem services science (ESS) can support the management of marine and coastal ecosystems.  

Ecosystems are connected to human well-being in complex ways at multiple time and space scales. Marine and coastal ecosystems are among the most valuable in providing these services. The challenge of ESS is understanding and modelling these connections, with a range of purposes including raising awareness and providing information to decision-makers to allow them to better manage our natural capital assets.

For ecosystem services to occur, natural capital (ecosystems and their products that do not require human activity to build or maintain) must be combined with other forms of capital that do not require human intervention including:

  • built or manufactured capital
  • human capital (eg. human labour and knowledge); and
  • social capital (eg. communities and cultures).

Thus, ESS is inherently an integrated, transdisciplinary science that is concerned with the way these four forms of capital contribute to human well-being and the synergies and trade-offs among them. 

The process of valuation of ecosystem services is about quantifying and modelling these synergies and trade-offs to allow better management. It requires a deeper understanding of the interconnections among human psychology and decision processes, ecosystem processes and functions, and economic production and consumption processes at multiple time and space scales.

The challenges of ESS are huge and will require a significantly more transdisciplinary approach than our current academic institutions are comfortable with. But the payoffs are also huge. Our future depends on making rapid progress in this area.

This webinar is open to everyone but will be of interest to people working in marine planning, resource management, economics, social science and environmental policy development.

About the Speaker:

Professor Costanza is Chair in Public Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra Australia and Editor-in-Chief of The Anthropocene Review. His specialties include: transdisciplinary integration, systems ecology, ecological economics, landscape ecology, ecological modeling, ecological design, energy analysis, environmental policy, social traps, incentive structures and institutions.

Follow @Robert_Costanza on Twitter

Prof Costanza's visit is with the support and funding of the Catchments Otago Research Theme at the University of Otago.


Webinars are free and available to all. You can join us at the venue, through a virtual hub, or register via Zoom videoconferencing to view on your own device.

To participate register via Zoom (and download Zoom to your computer).

Physical hub:
Seminar Room, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, 563 Castle Street, Dunedin.*Prof Costanza will be speaking from this location*

Virtual hub: 
TerraNova Room, NIWA, 10 Kyle Street, Riccarton Christchurch. Please note, all visitors to NIWA must sign in on arrival.

If you want to get a group of colleagues together and set up your own virtual hub, please email us at sustainableseas@niwa.co.nz so we can send you instructions on how to join the webinar using videoconferencing. 

Start date
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 13:00