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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Case 21 - Natural capital and ecosystem services for sustainable livelihoods in Costa Vicentina, Portugal

Please read the OpenNESS case study booklet 'Ecosystem services in operation' for the final outcomes of the cases. More detailed information about the cases and the tools and methods used can be found on Oppla:

The Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina (PNSACV) is located in the South-West corner of the Iberian Peninsula. It is an extended coastal sandy stretch covering 60 567 ha in land and 28 858 ha in the sea. It has a coastline with elevated cliffs, cut by deep ravines, small beaches, streams and temporary water courses, estuaries and marshes that host a large variety of habitats. This area is one of the few remaining well-preserved coastlines in Western Europe.

The area faces several pressures, namely increasing shellfish, algae and fish capture for self-consumption and commercial purposes that is depleting natural capital stocks, a growing interest in nature based tourism, such as nature trails, diving, windsurfing, surfing, bird and dolphin watching, recreation fishing and the resulting increasing growth in urban and tourism development. It is important to balance the needs for economic development of local populations with the conservation of natural capital and key ecosystem services.

The aim of this case is to explore the ways in which ecosystem services concept can be used to support the development of policies and instruments to ensure the delivery of selected ecosystem services (ES) and promote local stakeholders well-being.

The main tasks to be undertaken include:

  • Establishing the link between marine natural capital stocks (e.g. bottom algae, shellfish populations) with ES provision.
  • Exploring the perceptions and importance of ES to local stakeholders’ wellbeing and assess monetary and non-monetary value of selected ES.
  • Evaluating how have planners, practitioners and decision makers been using ES to support biodiversity conservation and land-use planning activities in the area.
  • Assessing different policy instruments and governance arrangements to ensure delivery of selected ES and promote local stakeholders well-being in the case study area
  • Implementing a participatory process to support the development of all tasks involving the main stakeholder groups aimed at fostering dialogues and social learning.

Case study leaders: Paula Antunes and Rui Santos from CENSE, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, who will closely work with the management team of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina.

Photo: Image of the PNSACV area