German academic preparing thesis on the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve

ASP World Junior Ericeira 2014. - ph. José Guerra


Photography: José Guerra

Translator: Full Circle


Joris Simon Edelmann is currently devoting himself to the “assessment of the economic value of cultural ecosystem services within an outdoor sport destination – the example of the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve”. The author of the thesis under development at the Department of Sports Science of the University of Bayreuth is a 27-year old German student, who started surfing about nine years ago.

Since he started this activity in the Portuguese waves and he loves to “consume” the surrounding nature and landscapes of different surf sports, Ericeira came as a natural choice for his Master’s thesis. What better case study for this research than one of the best surfing destinations worldwide and the only World Surfing Reserve (WSR) in Europe?

Joris Edelmann considers the theme he is exploring as “a matter of great importance, since ecosystems provide various services to the people, contributing to human well-being”, which meets the main line of action advocated by Save the Waves, the patron association of WSR: to protect the waves, their ecosystems and surrounding landscapes.

Ecosystems provide various services to the people, contributing to human well-being

The German academic characterizes the cultural ecosystem services as Another section of ecosystem services are the cultural ecosystem services as all the non-material and normally non-consumptive, outputs of ecosystems that affect physical and mental states of people like the aesthetic of a certain landscape. These cultural ecosystem services are hard to assess economically and therefore often not to be considered by political decision makers when making strategic choices impacting communities.

To be able to study and evaluate this impact scientifically, Joris Edelmann started by creating two online surveys, one for local sportsmen and tourists who are of have been in Ericeira and another one for local stakeholders (restaurants, accommodation, surf clubs).

The replies to these questionnaires will serve as raw material for Joris Edelmann to establish, in the next stage of this work, a comparison between the way Ericeira’s sportsmen or tourists and the stakeholders within the region assess the value of the cultural ecosystem services within the region of Ericeira.

The investigator thanks those who fit within these two groups for filling in the inquiries, so that he may obtain a broad and representative sample of contributions.

Joris Edelmann - ph. DR

Joris Edelmann – ph. DR

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