An interdisciplinary team from The University of the South Pacific (USP) attended a training workshop at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Norwich, United Kingdom from 22 to 27 March 2018.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss coastal and marine ecosystem services valuation for policy and decision making within the South Pacific region.
Invited by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the workshop served as a platform on how to further support Fiji in investigating the social and economic value of cultural services to inform future policy and decision making towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
This is in addition to the challenges and opportunities in applying the sustainability concept in economic, social and environmental contexts.
USP project leader Dr Dawn Gibson from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) stated that the fully-funded workshop was a great opportunity for colleagues and postgraduate students to “familiarise themselves with the frameworks, concepts, methods, and tools used at CEFAS when dealing with environmental, economic and ecosystem services valuation issues in preparation for future research collaboration”.
She added that the workshop was highly dynamic which included an energetic discussion on sustainability issues in the South Pacific that enabled participants to explore in-depth knowledge related to sustainability options and best practices within the region.
The workshop was led by five experts from CEFAS and UEA: Professor Kerry Turner, Professorial Fellow, School of Environmental Sciences, Dr Tiziana Luisetti, an Honorary Lecturer, School of Environmental Sciences and Dr Silvia Ferrini, Senior Research Associate, School of Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia, Applied Economist Dr Gaetano Grilli, and Environmental Economist Dr Emmanouil (Manolis) Tyllianakis from CEFAS.
Topics covered during the training included Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services, Values, Balance Sheet Approach, Ecosystem Services Valuation Methods, Trade-offs, Decision making tools: e.g. Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), Preferences, Choice Modelling, Objective and Subjective Well-Being, Latent Factors Analysis, Linking Choice Modelling and Latent Factors Analysis and Applications.
CEFAS has a Memorandum of Understanding with USPunder the Commonwealth Marine Economics (CME), and workshop participants aim to further intensify the collaboration between USP, CEFAS and UEA.
The USP team comprised representatives from the STHM, School of Accounting and Finance (SOAF), School of Land Management and Development (SLMD), and Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD).