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Advances in Earth Science  2012, Vol. 27 Issue (6): 633-643    DOI: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2012.06.0633
The Assessment of Natural Resource Damages Caused by Oil Spill Incidents based on Equivalency Analysis Methods
Zhang Peng1, Feng Junqiao2, Ge Linke1, Wang Zhen1, Yao Ziwei1, Du Tingqin3
1.Key Laboratory for Ecological Environment in Coastal Areas(SOA),National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, Dalian116023, China; 2.Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao266071, China; 3.Shandong Academy of Environmental Science, Ji′nan250013, China
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Although the international conventions and laws of many countries have included the ecological damages and natural resource losses resulting from marine oil spill incidents into claim scope recently,  acceptable approaches have not established wordwide  to quantify the ecological losses caused by pollution, scale the sizes of damage and compensation and convert the restorative ecological compensation into economical damage estimates. Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) and Resource Equivalency Analysis (REA), two popular approaches in US and Europe, were reviewed and discussed in detail. The key assumption of these two approaches was that the ecological service losses of injured habitats (or resources) should be equal to those supplied by the restorative projects. HEA which was on the basis of service-to-service approach strongly depended on several parameters, including the choices of ecological service metrics, service levels, the shape of recovery curves, the lengthens of restoration plans, and discount rates. REA which was the upgrade of HEA was impacted by the amounts of dead wildlife and their age classes. Both of the non-monetary results of HEA and REA compensated the human welfare losses rather than the eco-environment and natural resources. As so far, variety of monetization methods of HEA and REA were developed by economists, but widely arguments were triggered by traditional economists and eco-economists. Nevertheless, some US courts upheld HEA and REA as appropriate measures to determine the scale of compensatory restoration projects. Furthermore, the restoration costs derived from HEA and REA supplied data support for settlements out of courts. In the long run, combining the ecological and economical principles is promising to promote the development of equivalency analysis deeply and widely so as to make the claim rational and legal valid.

Key words:  Oil spill      Natural resource damage assessment      Claim      Habitat Equivalency Analysis      Resource Equivalency Analysis     
Received:  04 February 2012      Published:  10 June 2012
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Zhang Peng, Feng Junqiao, Ge Linke, Wang Zhen, Yao Ziwei, Du Tingqin. The Assessment of Natural Resource Damages Caused by Oil Spill Incidents based on Equivalency Analysis Methods. Advances in Earth Science, 2012, 27(6): 633-643.

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