Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services
UC Davis set to unlock natural wealth of coastlines
UC Davis is a partner in the new CCRES (Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services) project being led by the University of Queensland and funded largely by the World Bank.
CCRES has assembled an international team to undertake research to calculate a value for the ecosystem services provided to communities by natural assets in the coastal environment, including seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs.
The project team will develop eco-friendly businesses, toolkits and spatial planning models which will harness the value of the coastal natural capital. Local, national and regional communities will be involved in the project.
“CCRES gives UC Davis the opportunity to undertake world-class research and innovation, in collaboration with leading centers of discovery, learning and engagement in North America, Australia and South-East Asia”, says Dr. Jim Sanchirico (Professor of Environmental Science and Policy and Director of the Center for Coastal Ocean Issues in the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, UC Davis).
The project’s partners are Cornell University (New York State), The University of California (Davis, California), The University of Queensland (Australia), WWF US, Currie Communications (Australia), the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University (the Philippines).
Initially, pilot sites will be established ‘on the ground’ in Indonesia and the Philippines. The project’s research findings and business innovations will be shared nationally, regionally and globally.
According to Marea Hatziolos, Senior Coastal and Marine Specialist in the East Asia-Pacific Region at the World Bank, the wealth of natural capital has the potential to be a major driver of inclusive “green growth” in the region.
“There’s enormous potential if we can transform the development and stewardship of coastal areas by translating ecological value into financial terms for local stakeholders and policy makers,” Dr Hatziolos says.
“We especially need better resource governance regimes, measures to adequately value the environment for current and future generations when calculating economic benefits, and good scientific information to inform decision-making and trade-offs.”