Title: Cost benefit analysis and marine park planning in the South Coast Marine Conservation area, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Final project
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cost benefit analysis; marine park; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; marine protected areas (MPA);


Marine and coastal ecosystems provide a range of goods and services that support human health and wellbeing. These highly sensitive resources however, face multiple threats from both anthropogenic and natural sources. Left unabated these pressures can severely compromise the ocean’s ability to continually provide critically needed services. Establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) has increasingly been embraced as a key strategy to address many of the threats facing marine and coastal resources. Due to lack of sustainable funding however, many MPAs around the world fail to meet their management objectives. This study examined the costs and potential benefits of upgrading the South Coast Marine Conservation Area (SCMCA), St. Vincent and the Grenadines into a functional marine park. Start up and operating costs for the proposed park were determined, and weighed against the value of the indirect benefits provided by ecosystem services in the SCMCA, and projected user fee income in a cost benefit analysis. Analysis revealed that the net present value of combined indirect and direct benefits supported the development of the proposed park. The net present value of direct benefits only however, indicated that projected income from user fees will not be sufficient to allow the proposed park to sustainably fund estimated annual operating costs. Alternative means through which funding gaps can be met would thus need to be identified.

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