Thèse de doctorat en Sciences économiques
Soutenue le 30-09-2014
à Brest en cotutelle avec Queensland University of Technology. Brisbane, Australie , dans le cadre de École doctorale Sciences de la mer (Plouzané, Finistère) , en partenariat avec Aménagement des usages des ressources et des écosystèmes marins et littoraux (Brest, Finistère) (laboratoire) .
Le président du jury était Alain Ayong Le Kama.
Quantifying economic values of coastal and marine ecosystem services and assessing their use in decision-making : applications in New-Caledonia and Australia
Coastal and marine ecosystems are some of the most heavily exploited with increasing degradation. This alarming situation appeals for urgent and effective actions. The optimal balance between use and conservation of ecosystems theoretically requires all costs and benefits to be considered in decision-making, including intangible costs and benefits such as non-market use and non-use values. The broad aim of this PhD is to examine how these economic values associated with coastal and marine ecosystem services can be measured, and how the economic valuation exercise may be considered and influence management decision- making.The first analytical part of the thesis focuses on assessing non-market use and non-use values, through econometric methods. The characterization and estimation of non-use values are complex and controversial, especially when the valuation exercise is focusing on individuals who are users of the ecosystem services being considered. An original approach based on a stated preference method, namely choice experiments, is developed then empirically applied in quantifying non-market values for marine and coastal ecosystems in two areas in New Caledonia. It allows the estimation of non-use values for populations of users in an implicit way. An in-depth analysis of the individuals’ choice heuristics during the valuation exercise is also conducted, with a focus on payment non-attendance. This issue is dealt with by comparing multiple modelling approaches in terms of: (1) inferred attendance, in relation to stated attendance; (2) attendance distribution according to several socio-economic variables; and (3) welfare estimates.After noting that the potential influence of economic valuation in decision making is unclear and largely unexplored in the literature, the second major component of this PhD aims to examine if, how and to what extent the economic valuation of ecosystem services, including measures of non-market values, influence decision-making regarding coastal and marine ecosystems management in Australia. Based on two nation-wide surveys, the perceived usefulness of the economic valuation of ecosystem services by the general public and decision-makers is studied, and the reasons why decision-makers may or may not fully consider economic values are elicited. Using a multi-criteria analysis, a part of the surveys also aims at examining the relative importance of different evaluation criteria (ecological, social and economic) when assessing the consequences of a hypothetical coastal development project on commercial activities, recreational activities and marine biodiversity.