The primary focus of this project is to design a framework for, and then populate and implement a comprehensive and effective Ecosystem Values Information System for application to marine and coastal management and decision making in PNG. The values framework will be designed to capture a full range of values for stakeholders at different spatial scales, and show connectivity to other dependent ecosystem features, for example the provision of ecosystem goods and services. The Frameworks and information delivery systems would all be designed for immediate use by agencies, but also for future deployment of additional pressure-asset interaction analysis and improved decision support tools.
There are four categories of values represented in the framework: ecosystem structure and processes (biodiversity, productivity, connectivity); ecosystem regulatory functions (climate, pest, and pollution regulation; hazard protection); ecosystem goods and services supply (food, fibre and fuel); and shared social values (spiritual, aesthetic, recreation, existence values). This represents a comprehensive range of value types as defined by a range of valuing frames, including ecosystem services , economic valuation and socio-cultural valuing approaches.
A fundamental basis of our framework is that it is feature based – including both ecosystem and man-made features. The full range of socio-cultural, economic and ecological values can then be associated with that feature, and these can then be overlain in spatial systems to produce a comprehensive spatial valuation. In addition, the socio-cultural values associated with man-made features (such historical wrecks, buildings etc.) can be captured in the spatial values system.