Issue: Contributions of the coasts and oceans to human life - Non-material values benefits (heritage, recreation, aesthetic and spiritual)
This is an issue under the Coasts and oceans theme of the Data Reporting System.
In addition to the material necessities and benefits that the coasts and oceans contributes to human life, they also contribute a range of non-material values that can be generally characterised as spiritual, or heritage-related, or aesthetic or recreational. These are the values that arise from our sense of identity and belonging, from our need to understand our relationship with the rest of life and the universe, and from our enjoyment of natural beauty and of the physical and mental challenges of engaging with natural forces. However, this enjoyment of the coasts and oceans also places pressure on them.
Environmental degradation can erode these non-material benefits and accessing these benefits can itself contribute to environmental degradation. It is important to human quality or life that the contribution of the coasts and oceans to ‘natural values’ (as well as its contribution of physical necessities and material benefits) can be maintained or increased (or replaced) while responses are undertaken to ensure that environmental pressures are reduced and environmental condition maintained or improved.
To have the full story, it is therefore important to track not only what is happening to the pressures, the resulting condition of the coasts and oceans, and the societal responses, but also what is happening to the contribution.
CO-12 Value of and numbers participating in coastal and marine-based tourism and recreation
The number of people paying for activities which allow them to enjoy the natural coastal and marine environment and the amount they are willing to pay to do so is a partial but legitimate indicator of the value of this contribution to human society.BD-25
Tourism activities based in areas of high biodiversity significance
The number of people seeking coast and ocean based recreation which involves biodiversity value is indicative of the contribution of coasts and oceans to human life.