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5.6.6 Parc Naturel Régional du Golfe du Morbihan: Ecosystem Services Assessment Methods and Results

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Through the VALMER project, the Ecosystem Services Approach in the Golfe du Morbihan was used as a way to develop a systemic approach which would be useful in exploring all the elements linked to the seagrass beds management.

At the beginning of the project, it was decided do not to make a monetary valuation of the seagrass beds of the gulf of Morbihan.The VALMER Golfe du Morbiha team preferred to develop a multi-criteria assessment approach based on social, economic and environmental criteria.

These would include: ecosystem services offered by seagrass beds to human activities and interaction between these activities and these marine habitats. The VALMER project team, together with scientists and local managers has undertaken a study of seagrass beds, with the participation of local stakeholders (state representatives, elected-members, professionals (fishermen, shellfish farmers), recreational activities, associations and local people).

The VALMER team listed all the ecosystem services offered by seagrass beds in the gulf of Morbihan (e.g. shelter for many species; food resource for birds feeding on their leaves (e.g. geese); improvement of sedimentation, etc.); and identified the natural and human factors that could affect the level of the ecosystem services offered by seagrass beds.

This assessment has been done by combining several steps and tools:

  • A scientific literature review
  • Interviews
  • Focus-groups
  • A “choice experiment” survey
  • Map analysis


5 6 5   ESA process Figure: Overview of the steps and tools developed in the Golfe du Morbihan case study site

The Ecosystem Services Approach was useful in the Golfe du Morbihan in order to:

  • Structure a systemic view of the coastal social and ecological system
  • Propose a new management approach under a participatory process
  • Discuss seagrass beds management with local stakeholders

The approach developed in the Golfe du Morbihan tried to be the most participative as possible, based on knowledge sharing with stakeholders and to develop a common culture and build with them proposals to improve seagrass beds management.

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