July 2021 Newsletter

In this month's newsletter:

  • Reviewing the species data landscape in England - Our work for the Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission
  • The Levante Marine Reserve - showing the essential functions & beauty of the sea from an economic perspective
  • Job Advertisement: JEEP Editor-in-Chief - the Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy

Reviewing the species data landscape in England - our work for the Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission


We need biodiversity data to assess the state of the environment, make better decisions on environmental management (such as the Environmental Land Management scheme in England), and monitor the outcome of relevant actions. Part of that data is about the abundance, condition, and distribution of species covering all flora and fauna within the marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments.

The current species data pathway in England enables a large amount of data to be recorded and shared. The current system utilises extensive volunteer input and is reliant upon continued good will and interest. However, complex data flows and data inconsistencies can affect the quality of the data.

Together with eCountability, the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres, the NBN Trust and the Biological Records Centre, we reviewed how species data is currently collected and collated in England and conducted a cost benefit analysis of the role of the species data pathway in enhancing stewardship of and access to species data, and the decisions that use such data. The baseline of current operation was compared to a ‘no species data pathway’ scenario in which data stewardship and use is severely impaired due to the absence of the data pathway.

The report, published by the Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission, details the current species data pathway, assesses the value of species data, and makes recommendations to improve the species data landscape.

The analysis shows benefits strongly outweigh its cost, with benefit-cost ratios ranging between 14:1 and 28:1. However, despite such good public returns, lack of funding is a risk to maintaining the current species data pathway and a funding gap of £6 million has been identified through this work.

Click the links for:

The Levante Marine Reserve - showing the essential functions & beauty of the sea from an economic perspective

the blue sea, cliffs, and a boat in Mallorca

The Levante Marine Reserve, in Mallorca, was created in 2007. At first, several stakeholders argued that the restrictions that come with the reserve status will curtail tourism in the region. Today, the marine reserve is shown to enhance marine biodiversity and tourism has been the main beneficiary of such enhancement.

We have advised Ecoacsa, funded by the Marilles Foundation, in producing a natural capital account to estimate the economic and societal benefits of the Levante Marine Reserve. The account included several ecosystem benefits such as carbon sequestration and recreation – €3 million of about €5 million total estimated benefits are attributed to tourism and recreation activities.  The account also analyzed the maintenance costs of the reserve, which are estimated to be around €470,000 per year. 

The marine reserve is managed by the Spanish Government and the Balearic Local Government and includes a total of 11,000 hectares of marine habitats of high biodiversity value, including just under 4,000 hectares of Posidonia oceanica, which is a seagrass endemic to the MediterraneanBased on the data collected by divers, the density of fish has tripled, or even quadrupled, in some areas of the reserve. Over 21% of the sea under the management of the Balearic Local Government is already under some sort of legal protection, which is a much higher percentage than any other region in Spain.

Click here for: Marilles Foundation who funded the work and Ecoacsa who led it.

Click here for: the El Pais article on this work

Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy (JEEP) are looking for a new Editor-in-Chief

Banner reading "Call for Editor-in-Chief", JEEP, Deadline: 30 August 2021

Taylor & Francis are looking to recruit a new Editor-in-Chief to oversee the Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy (this is the journal for the UK Network of Environmental Economists, or UKNEE).

T&F are looking for a candidate with an academic background in environmental economics, practical experience in the field, and the passion to drive the journal forward in an exciting period of change to prioritise the sharing of applied work and encourage more readership and submissions from outside academia.

Becoming an editor is a rewarding and fulfilling experience where you will build your networks, promote state of the art the research, and be recognized as a leading figure within the community.

If you or someone you know is interested, please click here to access more information and instructions on how to apply.