MAREA Project Objectives

MAREA's main objective is to assess and develop methods for downscaling coastal-marine thematic accounts (UN SEEA EA, Ch13) at a regional level, to provide decision-support for integrated planning, using the Oslofjord as a test case.

What are the mechanisms, barriers and opportunities for using ecosystem accounting tools in support of planning?

Hypothesis: Marine ecosystem accounting methods are only rudimentarily applied in current planning, but can improve the basis for decision-making if knowledge gaps are addressed.

At what spatial and temporal resolution is it possible to integrate biophysical modeling of coastal land use, nutrient loading, marine habitat extent and condition, and ecosystem services for the purposes of hindcasting(accounting) and forecasting(impact assessment)?

Hypothesis: Mapping of the spatial coherence between ecosystem extent-condition and key ecosystem services is sufficiently (i) temporally resolved to identify significant historic trends in ecosystem service supply, and (ii) spatially resolved to assess coastal- marine use zoning alternatives.

How can monetary valuation of ecosystem services internalise values of coastal ecosystem services in management-support, planning and policy design?

Hypothesis: Monetary valuation of the key ecosystem services is feasible at a temporal and spatial resolution that are useful for management, planning and policy design.

How can uncertainty be quantified consistently across extent-condition-services-valuation modelling chains?

Hypothesis: Spatial Bayesian Belief Networks can integrate model chain uncertainty sufficiently to (i) assess significance of trends in ecosystem services, and (ii) identify variables with the highest value of information in model chains. (contribution to uncertainty).

What approaches and EA tools do planners in the Oslofjord find feasible and useful for decision- support at their respective governance levels?

Hypothesis: State agency, county and municipal planners find spatial mapping and valuation of ecosystem services useful decision-support for some, but not all, priority planning and policy needs (WP6)

What results regarding regional coastal-marine accounts are transferable findings to other regional coastal plans around the world.

Hypothesis: National standards for ecosystem accounting as proposed by UN SEEA EA can be selectively downscaled to be useful for regional level coastal master planning.