Economic assessment of ecosystem goods and services in Karavasta Lagoon, Albania


1Department of Agro-Environment and Ecology, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania.

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Lagoons are highly productive coastal features that provide a range of natural services that directly or indirectly translate to economic services and values to humans. Nowadays the lagoon ecosystems were threatened by land use changes.  The aim of this study is to estimate the total economic value (TEV) of the direct and indirect values and to demonstrate the net benefit derived from the main ecosystem services in Karavasta Lagoon (40º56’ N and 19º29’ E), (Ramsar site 1996). Specially, the objectives include: (i) to identify the key services and activities which provide income in the lagoon, (ii) to identify the most appropriate tools for estimating the economic value of the key goods and services, (iii) to estimate the economic value of these key goods and services, and the determinants of this value. The study is based on the methodology of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which (i) categorize the goods and services in provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting, (ii) divide them in direct and indirect use value and non-use value. The economic valuation is done identifying the direct and indirect goods and services as fisheries, agriculture and tourism. 1. The market price method is used for fisheries and agriculture to give a monetary value to the lagoon. To gather data about Agriculture and Fishing activity we conducted interview with the local institutions, municipalities, survey with household around the lagoon, private company ect. Also, a valuation is done using the indirect value as Tourism. The contingent valuation method is used to determine the value of an ecosystem by finding out how much survey respondents are willing to pay for a particular ecosystem attributes or services. So, in order to have information and data 2, we create an hypothetic scenario with WTP (willingness to pay). The results about the economic value in Karavasta lagoon showed that the Total economic value about the two main direct activities Agriculture and Fisheries and the spontaneous hypothetical market created of Tourism is approximately (TEV) 344.360.860  Euro. With an approximately economic value of Fisheries = 206.622.650 . Economic value of Tourism= 1.821.498 €. Agriculture economic value = 134.916.808 €.  These results can help the decision makers to think about the economic assessment of ecosystem services as a good method for the management and conservation of the coastal areas for the future generations.

Keywords: Ecosystem, goods, services, Karavasta lagoon, TEV (Total economic value).

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