It is evident that ocean and coastal ecosystems suffer—perhaps more than any other ecosystem—from knowledge and governance deficits and also from a relationship deficit, as society tends to over rely on objectifying the oceans rather than acknowledging the circular connection between the needs people want met and those the ecosystems themselves require to function. Although there is an understanding and general acknowledgement of the value of marine ecosystem services, and a willingness to take action, there remains a lack of tools, processes and information to enable the needed action. A TEEB for Oceans and Coasts study seeks identify and fill key knowledge gaps and facilitate the enabling conditions to enhance sound decision making at all levels of society.
Marine and coastal ecosystems and the services they provide continue to be degraded around the world. We need to continue the work of the original TEEB, with a TEEB for Oceans and Coasts, because of the marine and coastal systems present new challenges in governance, ownership, and biophysical processes that have not been fully developed in the original TEEB.
A TEEB for Oceans and Coasts should respond to the growing demand from policy makers to better manage human activities and their impact on ecosystems and their services; it should identify and focus on the policy opportunities that are currently available in order to establish the value of an ES approach and to continue to build confidence and comfort for using ES knowledge in decision-making.
A TEEB for Oceans and Coasts study should begin by “listening” to those decision-makers who currently demand better ES knowledge. The TEEB for Oceans and Coasts should begin with a design phase that builds an active dialogue with the “end users” of the study
The TEEB for Oceans and Coasts also needs to work closely with scientists to understand the challenges and obstacles that may prevent the provision of new data and models for better use of ES knowledge in decision-making.
A TEEB for Oceans and Coasts study needs to tailor the outreach pathways developed in the original TEEB to the specific needs of selected types of decision makers.