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Ben Thornes

The VALMER Project – Poole Harbour Case Study

Wednesday 16th July 2014

The VALMER Project sees experts from France and the South West of England working together to help coastal communities make the most of their surroundings. The study area is focussed on the South West of England and the northern coast of Brittany in France.

The project is looking specifically at six coastal study sites in the Western English Channel area, which have been chosen to act as case studies and the research team will look to test elements of developing framework within those areas.

The project aims to test different methods of valuing marine Ecosystem Services, in order to show how placing monetary and non-monetary values on ecosystem services can enhance policy, planning and management of marine and coastal environments.

Ecosystem services can be described as direct and indirect benefits gained by humans from the natural environment, e.g. food, climate regulation, recreation, tourism and production of oxygen from plants. Each of the six case study sites are focusing on different ecosystem services.

The VALMER team are hoping, upon project completion in 2015, the results will be taken on board by the Environment Agency, Marine Management Organisation and Natural England amongst others to inform future marine management and policy.

The Poole Harbour Case Study

The Dorset Coast Forum (DCF) are investigating the ecosystem service ‘recreation’, specifically six recreational activities taking place in Poole Harbour that use the marine environment; kitesurfing, windsurfing, wildlife watching, canoeing/kayaking, jetskiing and waterskiing/wakeboarding.

May 2013 saw the DCF officially launch this data collection campaign, undertaking a series of questionnaires aimed at those who actively engage with these six activities in Poole Harbour.

You can find out more about the VALMER Project and the results from the Poole Harbour Case Study here.

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