Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Socio-economic analysis of management options

The socio-economic concerns, which were taken into account in the DITTY WP7 implied efforts at different levels.

The objectives were to:
- analyse the systems (and in particular of their anthropic components);
- analyse the interactions between the actors of sector development and, between them and their environment ;
- identify the problems arising from these interactions;
- elaborate the specific or global scenarios;
- evaluate the costs and benefits associated, with corresponding actions and strategies,
- clarify the results from the WP8 (DSS) with reference to dialogue, negotiation and decision processes.

The purposes of the studies were to identify the actors, to detect the problems arising from their interactions with their environment (direct environment and other territories), and then to determine the relevant stakes by studying various solutions to the problems identified in order to evaluate the related costs and benefits, including or not externalities, and to integrate them in the overall assessment.

The following tasks were performed:
1: Identification of economically relevant impacts of various management options (scenarios) identified in WP6 and analysed in physical & socio-economical terms.
2: Stakeholders analysis: identify « gainers » and « loosers » for various management options.
3: Monetary valuation of costs and benefits of externalities (environmental, social and cultural, etc.), through Valuation transfer studies on DITTY sites.
4: Cost-Benefit Analysis and evaluation of the impacts of various management options through various models (micro & macro)
5: I/O modelling (macro-economic approach) on the site of Thau, for the evaluation of induced effects of scenarios on the employment and on the environment.

The first four tasks were planed for implementation on all DITTY sites, whereas Task 5 was specifically related to the Thau lagoon. In addition, complementary studies were proposed by the project and carried out on Thau lagoon.

In order to develop a complete DSS, it was necessary to take into account ecosystem functioning and also the different actors involved. In parallel to the development of an integrated understanding of the ecosystem dynamics, a socio-economic study on the different stakeholders and the costs/benefits analysis of the different possible options were carried out with the aim to develop economic criteria to be included in the final project's product (the DSS).

The main steps of this work involved: the collation of data on benefits and costs; a survey of all existing work on valuation in all sites, and the identification of opportunities for valuation transfers; a stakeholder analysis (identification of winners and losers for each management option); finally, CBA (Cost Benefit analysis) and CEA (Cost-Effectiveness analysis), based on a review and quantification of the impacts of the management options identified in the scenario analysis (WP6).

When benefits of management options were not estimated or transferred, quality indicators were compiled to compare the options' costs. The results of this analysis were fed into the DSS to inform the policy choices in support to the management of the coastal lagoons. The study also identified further research needs in terms of benefit transfer and monetary valuation; also a pilot study on input/output modelling was used to explore opportunities with the view to apply this approach to other sites.

One of the main problems was the scarcity of data and of analyses on some sites. Therefore, studies made available by the project were used as examples of application of socio-economic analysis in support to the management of the coastal lagoons.

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