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Examples of test which could be performed with data from the case study areas

  • Giving the same dataset to different people and comparing the resulting valuation maps to test the consistency and subjectivity of the protocol.
  • Valuate neighboring countries first separately and then together to see whether you get conflicts at the borders and if changes in value occur in the different subareas when the scale is broadened. This test could be done in the Belgian-Dutch coast study area.
  • Next to creating biodiversity valuation maps one could also create habitat maps (using the biodiversity elements at the ecosystem level) and overlay these habitat maps with biological valuation maps (using the biodiversity elements at the species/population and community level) to see whether these combination maps differ from the biodiversity valuation maps.

Important aspects to consider

  • We need standing operating procedures for using the valuation protocol and the production of the BVMs to provide better uniformity among valuation results.
  • The BVMs should only be produced by experts, because the protocol itself cannot be applied by ‘non-experts’.
  • It is necessary to produce a quality assurance package with the maps taking into account the number of assessment questions which can be answered, the percentage of coverage of the available data, the amount of available data,… . Preferably the quality of the valuation indicated on the maps should be given with 1 (integrated) label.
  • The reliability of the valuation results, plotted on the maps, depends on the management questions for which the maps will be used. A document should be provided next to the maps to clearly indicate for which purposes the maps can be used and for which purposes they are not able to give answers.


These paragraphs reflect the main discussion outcomes of the ENCORA Theme 7-MARBEF Theme 3 workshop on marine biological valuation (6-8 December 2006, Gent, Belgium).