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1 March 2017 Ecosystem Services to Enhance Coastal Resilience in Mexico: The Gap between the Perceptions of Decision-Makers and Academics
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Lithgow, D.; Martínez, M.L.; Silva, R.; Geneletti, D.; Gallego-Fernández, J.B.; Cerdán, C.R.; Mendoza, E., and Jermain, A., 2017. Ecosystem services to enhance coastal resilience in Mexico: The gap between the perceptions of decision-makers and academics. In: Martinez, M.L.; Taramelli, A., and Silva, R. (eds.), Coastal Resilience: Exploring the Many Challenges from Different Viewpoints. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 77, pp. 116–126. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.In this study, we assessed the respective perceptions of academics and decision-makers concerning the relationships (dependence and impact) between economic activities and ecosystem services in coastal environments. Our goal was to explore the potential for achieving informed decisions that are based on an effective and appropriate use of the concept of ecosystem services. A set of questionnaires was e-mailed to a selected group of academics and decision-makers and the responses analysed. The perceived degree of negative impact caused by economic productive activities on ecosystem services differed, probably because of the different parameters used by each group: biophysical by academics and socioeconomic by decision makers. The academics commonly perceived that the negative impact and dependence of economic activities upon ecosystem services was much greater than that perceived by the decision-makers. This may indicate that decision-makers underestimate the impact of economic activities on ecosystem services during the decision-making process, or conversely, that academics potentially overestimate the impact. This dynamic could account for current discrepancies in the inadequacy of public policies related to resource management. Such differences of opinion, whether scientifically based or not, affect the decisions that are made and the conservation status of natural ecosystems, the ecosystem services they provide and their resilience to extreme disturbance events.
©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2017
Debora Lithgow, M. Luisa Martínez, Rodolfo Silva, Davide Geneletti, Juan B. Gallego-Fernández, Carlos R. Cerdán, Edgar Mendoza and Allison Jermain "Ecosystem Services to Enhance Coastal Resilience in Mexico: The Gap between the Perceptions of Decision-Makers and Academics," Journal of Coastal Research (JCR) 77(sp1), (1 March 2017).
Received: 5 July 2016; Accepted: 8 October 2016; Published: 1 March 2017

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