Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Ecosystem service maps are instrumental for the assessment and communication of the costs and benefits of human-nature interactions. This article in the journal Ecosystem Services proposes an integrated way of assessing and mapping global flows of marine ecosystem services. It proposes a conceptual framework that integrates ecosystem service provision principles with value chain analysis and human well-being assessment methods, while considering the spatial dimension of these components in ecosystem service mapping. It applies this framework to the case of seafood provision from purse seine tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The resulting ecosystem service maps demonstrate the flow of marine ecosystem services to a series of global beneficiaries through different trade and mobility pathways. The article identifies three types of flows: one to one, closed loop, and open loop. It emphasizes the need to consider a series of intermediate beneficiaries in ecosystem service mapping despite the lack of data. It highlights the need for a shift in ecosystem service mapping to better include global commodity flows across spatial scales.