Environmental Valuation: Tools and Capacity-Building for Integration in Policy, Bermuda

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment National
Country or countries covered Bermuda
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

This project seeks to address the lack of environmental consideration in current policy and decision-making, by providing a means of recognizing the value of the range of ecosystem services provided by Bermuda's environment. The close collaboration of a dedicated Bermuda-based project manager and economic experts of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), will ensure appropriate application of existing economic tools and approaches and enable the training of local personnel for long-term sustainability. The purpose of this valuation is to inform stakeholders and policy makers on the benefits and costs of conserving ecosystems based on reliable and objective information.

Mandate for the assessment

The project was funded by FCO/DIFD Overseas Territories Environment Programme, 2007 project number BDA402. The project has been developed in the context of most of the MEAs which have already been extended to Bermuda, as well as some MEAs that are listed as high priorities for extension such as the UKOT Environment Charter, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Economic valuation is also recognised to be an important tool for implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention on Migratory Species.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Total Economic Valuation

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/Executive%20report.pdf http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4393 http://www.conservation.bm/publications/projects-reports/ http://www.ivm.vu.nl/en/projects/Archive/bermuda-coral-reef/index.asp

System(s) assessed

  • Marine
  • Coastal

Species groups assessed

Fisheries (commercial fisheries including finfish and lobster species, recreational finfisheries))

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food


  • Coastal protection

Supporting Services/Functions

Cultural Services

  • Recreation and tourism
  • Amenity, Research and education value

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment

One off

Assessment outputs


Bermuda Department of Conservation Services, (2010) Coral Reef Economic Valuation Brief: A brief document highlighting the key findings of the TEV report. Bermuda Department of Conservation Services, Bermuda, Government of Bermuda, Bermuda.

Sarkis, S., van Beukering, P.J.H. and McKenzie, E. (2010) Total Economic Value of Bermuda’s Coral Reefs: Valuation of Ecosystem Services. Technical report. Department of Conservation Services, Government of Bermuda, Bermuda.

van Beukering, P.J.H., Sarkis, S., McKenzie, E., Hess, S., Brander, L., Roelfsema, M., Looijenstijn-van der Putten, L. and Bervoets, T. (2010) Executive Summary Report: Total Economic Value of Bermuda’s Coral Reefs - Valuation of Ecosystem Services. Department of Conservation Services, Government of Bermuda, Bermuda.

Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

CD-Rom- digital copy of policy brief, full report and choice model cards Hard copies of policy brief and full report available through Department of Conservation Services Bermuda Articles in the Royal Gazette (Bermuda newspaper)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Chapter in newly published “Coral Reefs of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories”Series: Coral Reefs of the World, Vol. 4, editor Charles Sheppard, 2013 XVI 323p.

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Economic valuation
  • Social (non-monetary) valuation
  • Choice modelling
  • Sharing data

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Key stakeholder groups engaged

*All relevant government departments of the Government of Bermuda: Department of Planning, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation Services, Department of Parks and Sustainable Development Unit *Users such as Boat operators, fishermen and farmers *Bermuda National Trust *Bermuda Zoological Society *Bermuda Audubon Society *Save Open Spaces Association *Bermuda Botanical Society *Environmental Coalition Organization *Bermuda Cave Diving Association *Sustainable Development Round Table, a civil society acting as an oversight committee for Bermuda Government

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process

More than 1000

Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Government of Bermuda Reports (Fisheries, Statistics, Tourism, Environment) Coastal Erosion Reports, Environmental Economics valuation methodologies/toolkit (see References p. 109-113 in final report)

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

Not all raw data easily accessible, but most can be made available by the researchers on request

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Cabinet Paper on Coral Reef Protection- calling for legislation regarding establishment of damage compensation fees for vessel grounding – pending approval by Cabinet

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Lessons learnt from the study: 1) Having an oversight Steering Committee composed of head of government departments, NGOs and respected members of the community is critical to the credibility of the results and their acceptance, and to follow-up actions- even if these occur a few years after completion, 2) Dissemination of the results and raising awareness of the economic value seems to be best achieved through a DVD (documentary); this was not done in this case, but is still being considered, given the impact seen when used as a communication tool in other case studies, 3) In the Bermuda project, a TEV was opted for which proved useful; however, simultaneously applying the study to a real CBA-type of setting would have been most effective in demonstrating its usefulness and immediately addressing a burning issue. On the other hand, it may not have been politically correct at the time, 4) Increased stakeholder engagement in various stages of research may have led to increased societal impact of the study.

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

• Lack of local environmental economists • Lack of understanding of environmental economics concept

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Workshops, Developing/promoting and providing access to support tools, Communication and awareness raising

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Through workshops mainly

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

• Lack of information on wave impact on Bermuda’s coastal zones (lack of data on wave height on platform during storms and hurricanes) • Better understanding of coastal erosion parameters required for mitigation measures (both natural and human induced erosion processes) • Better assessment of flood zones • Good coral cover data for surface of reefs, but lack of informatio for sides of reefs • Lack of database on recreational fisheries

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Through policy brief and presentations

Additional relevant information