Simpson, Shay, Gregory Brown, Ann Peterson, & Ron W. Johnstone (2016, May). Stakeholder perspectives for coastal ecosystem services and influences on value integration in policy. Ocean & Coastal Management, 126, 9-21. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.03.009) (PDF download at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569116300345)

Abstract: Environmental and natural resource management in Australia occurs at a regional scale with many initiatives underpinned by an ecosystem services framework that aims to integrate economic, social and ecological values in decision-making. This research examines potential influences on value integration by identifying stakeholder perspectives for coastal ecosystem services using mangroves in south-east Queensland as a case study. The study site is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions and exhibits a “hotbed of issues” with institutional complexity in coastal areas where urban development is concentrated. Q-methodology was used to systematically study stakeholder perspectives on coastal ecosystem services and identify natural groupings between stakeholders with shared values. A total of 43 respondents representing nine stakeholder categories were interviewed. Factor analysis identified four perspectives that were labelled: (1) Green Infrastructure; (2) Recreational Opportunity and Well-being; (3) Sustaining Regional Industries and Communities; and (4) Coastal Living. The concept of ecosystem ‘bundles’ was conducive to analysing the range of services valued by different perspectives and highlighted stakeholder priorities that underpin demand for coastal ecosystem services. Stakeholder perspectives show potential to influence coastal policy according to the ecosystem service categories that are prioritised in decision-making and the saliency of the services to the stakeholder group. This research contributes to the field of coastal management where a lack of progress on “well-documented problems” partly stems from governance failure to capture and consider pluralistic values in decision-making and exacerbates conflict between contested views.

Shay Simpson <s.simpson4> and the other authors are in the School of Geography Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia.

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