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Title: Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs and the Ecosystem Services Approach to Environmental Management : A Case Study of Ras Mohammed National Park
Author: Tawfik, Rady Talaat
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 5334
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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Through a wide range of benefits, the coral reefs help to sustain the lives and welfare of many people in Egypt. They are a source of food, employment, leisure, protection, and medicines. Ras Mohammed is renowned globally for the diversity and richness of its coral reefs, rated amongst the world's best. Such uniqueness makes the park a major recreational attraction and the cornerstone of ecotourism within South Sinai. A total of 495,382 people visited Ras Mohammed in 2008/09. The volume of tourists and the over-development along the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba have degraded the reef. A significant root cause of the reef degradation is the absence of relevant data which can economically reveal the benefits provided by the coral reefs and the cost of their damage. An ecosystem services approach that can support the management of coral reefs in the context of the seascape and takes into account the impacts of the land use should be adopted. In order to successfully achieve the dual goals of reef protection and income generation, the management of Ras Mohammed needs to understand visitor preferences for reef quality and other attributes of the park. Management plans should be based on these preferences as well as the physical characteristics of reef sites. By incorporating these preferences for distinct alternatives featuring different levels of the attributes, welfare measures can be estimated and thus more efficient targeting ofefforts can be achieved. Based on the results presented in this study the attribute that the visitors attach the highest value to is the reef quality which indicates the importance of maintaining this feature in order to keep the popularity of Ras Mohammed as a tourist destination. Armed with a broader, deeper knowledge of the different aspects of the ecosystem, we will be better equipped to safeguard the future of coral reefs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available