Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services in an Ecosystem Satellite Account: A Case Study in the Gulf of Saint-Malo (France)

This paper develops an accounting approach for estimating cultural ecosystem services. Ecosystem satellite accounts should be able to include cultural ecosystem services, which raise numerous assessment difficulties. A new assessment method is proposed, which uses the production for own use of households who carry out recreational activities depending on cultural ecosystem services. An application is carried out in the Gulf of Saint-Malo (France). A survey was implemented in order to collect the accounting data. Six recreational activities mixing the consumption of pure leisure (mainly sport) and marine cultural ecosystem services (mainly fishing and seascape watching) were considered: onshore fishing and shellfish gathering; hiking; recreational boating and offshore fishing; canoeing and kayaking; light sailing; scuba-diving and underwater fishing.

The results show that the household production value for these six marine and coastal recreational activities in the Gulf of Saint-Malo ranges between 210 M€ and 276 M€, contributing to 97% of the output of recreational services for these activities. It means that the current national accounting system captures only 3% of the output of marine recreational activities. About 82% of production means are devoted to the consumption cultural ecosystem services, while the remaining part of the production value is assigned to the consumption of sportive services. Hence, the production value associated to the main uses of marine cultural ecosystem services can be estimated at between 172 and 226 M€, with respective value-added of 110 M€ and 154 M€. These results definitively point out the necessity of distinguishing recreational services which depend only on human activities from cultural ecosystem services which depend on outputs from ecosystem processes, in order to avoid over-estimating or confusing estimates of marine cultural ecosystem services.


Ecosystem satellite account, Household production function, Cultural ecosystem services, Recreational activities

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Martin Jean Christophe, Mongruel Remi, Levrel Harold (2018). Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services in an Ecosystem Satellite Account: A Case Study in the Gulf of Saint-Malo (France). Ecological Economics. 143. 141-152.,

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