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Assessing costs and benefits of measures to achieve good environmental status in European regional seas: challenges, opportunities, and lessons learnt

Börger, Tobias; Broszeit, Stefanie; Ahtiainen, Heini; Atkins, Jonathan P.; Burdon, Daryl; Luisetti, Tiziana; Murillas, Arantza; Oinonen, Soile; Paltriguera, Lucille; Roberts, Louise; Uyarra, Maria C.; Austen, Melanie C.


Tobias Börger

Stefanie Broszeit

Heini Ahtiainen

Daryl Burdon

Tiziana Luisetti

Arantza Murillas

Soile Oinonen

Lucille Paltriguera

Louise Roberts

Maria C. Uyarra

Melanie C. Austen


The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires Member States to assess the costs and benefits of Programmes of Measures (PoMs) put in place to ensure that European marine waters achieve Good Environmental Status by 2020. An interdisciplinary approach is needed to carry out such an assessment whereby economic analysis is used to evaluate the outputs from ecological analysis that determines the expected effects of such management measures. This paper applies and tests an existing six-step approach to assess costs and benefits of management measures with potential to support the overall goal of the MSFD and discusses a range of ecological and economic analytical tools applicable to this task. Environmental cost-benefit analyses are considered for selected PoMs in three European case studies: Baltic Sea (Finland), East Coast Marine Plan area (UK), and the Bay of Biscay (Spain). These contrasting case studies are used to investigate the application of environmental cost-benefit analysis (CBA) including the challenges, opportunities and lessons learnt from using this approach. This paper demonstrates that there are opportunities in applying the six-step environmental CBA framework presented to assess the impact of PoMs. However, given demonstrated limitations of knowledge and data availability, application of other economic techniques should also be considered (although not applied here) to complement the more formal environmental CBA approach.


Börger, T., Broszeit, S., Ahtiainen, H., Atkins, J. P., Burdon, D., Luisetti, T., Murillas, A., Oinonen, S., Paltriguera, L., Roberts, L., Uyarra, M. C., & Austen, M. C. (2016). Assessing costs and benefits of measures to achieve good environmental status in European regional seas: challenges, opportunities, and lessons learnt. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3(OCT), Article 192.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2016
Publication Date Oct 7, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 7, 2016
Journal Frontiers in marine science
Electronic ISSN 2296-7745
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue OCT
Article Number 192
Keywords MSFD, Environmental cost-benefit analysis, Benefit transfer, Ecosystem services
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Frontiers in marine science, 2016, v.3 The article was also published as part of an open access ebook, Borja, A., Elliott, M., Uyarra, M. C., Carstensen, J., Mea, M., eds. (2017). Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Science in Assessing the Health Status of Marine Ecosystems, 2nd Edition. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88945-126-5
Contract Date Oct 5, 2016


Article (1.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2016 Börger, Broszeit, Ahtiainen, Atkins, Burdon, Luisetti, Murillas, Oinonen, Paltriguera, Roberts, Uyarra and Austen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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