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Marine Natural Capital Accounts - ME5116

In line with the ambition of the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and OSPAR’s emphasis on the importance of natural capital accounting, this project develops initial natural capital accounts for UK marine and coastal ecosystems, generating initial estimates of the extent, condition and contribution to ecological services. As part of the 2020 Natural Capital Accounting Roadmap, this work helps to enable Defra and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to make continued progress in developing a full set of national-level (‘top-down’) natural capital accounts and estimates for all broad habitats within the UK. Jointly managed by the JNCC and CEFAS as a partnership agreement, this project brings together the strengths of both organisations in marine ecosystem assessment and economics.

The initial study uses existing available data to provide estimates of the value of ecosystem services flowing from broad-scale marine and coastal habitats within UK waters. Outputs include: a systematic dataset (with gaps identified) in support of these accounts, prioritised recommendations for the improvement of the data and asset coverage, such as more spatially disaggregated and more granular accounts.

The report utilises the Natural Capital Committee definition of Natural Capital, adopts the related Natural Capital Framework for condition and assessment of physical accounts, and provides economic accounts based on the valuation of the goods and benefits provided by marine and coastal natural capital and ecosystem services.

The work is supplemented by the United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework, advice from the UK Natural Capital Committee, alongside the vision of the 2020 Roadmap.
More specifically the project:
• Clarifies the conceptual framework for marine and coastal accounts (JNCC lead); including defining distinct elements of the area accounts; highlighting and appraising conceptual issues; identifying and defining key ecosystem services; and establishing relevant and practical indicators of habitat condition.
• Produces initial natural capital accounts for the marine and relevant coastal ecosystems of the UK (Cefas lead); including assessment of data needs and sources; identifying relevant ecosystem service account structures; assessment of valuation options; and compilation of initial marine and coastal accounts for the UK.
• Draws conclusions and makes recommendations regarding (joint); methodological issues, data gaps, overlaps and the potential use of the accounts in policy and management
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Initial natural capital accounts for the UK marine and coastal environment   (2404k)
• EXE - Executive Summary : JNCC Cefas mNCA report Summary   (177k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2019

Cost: £54,510
Contractor / Funded Organisations
C E F A S (CEFAS), J N C C (JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Support Committee
Environmental policy              
Natural Environment - Ecosystem services