Are human activities a risk for ecosystem services ?

Activities affect the ecosystem via several pressures. DPSIR and Cumuleo framework are applied to describe and quantify the linkages and effects of specific activities on ecosystem services.

Photo: Coast of Statia (Photo: Martin de Graaf)

Ecosystem services depend on ecosystem conditions, and if these are impacted via pressures, consequently ecosystem services will be as well. Ecosystem services (habitat provision, regulation, etc) in turn are fundamental to some of the key activities in Sint Eustatius such as dive tourism.


In this study, threats and risk to the environment are evaluated in terms of (1) underlying pressures, (2) relevance to specific key ecosystem components, and (3) impact on ecosystem services. The CUMULEO tool is used to semi-quantify effects of a selection of activities in Statia. CUMULEO is a modeling tool in which activities, pressures and ecosystem components are linked and impacts can be cumulated. The most relevant linkages between activities and ecosystem components are prioritised by applying semi quantative scores to each of the linkages.


Doing so, the results contribute to the understanding of impact of activities, and the possible impact on ecosystem services and ecosystem valuation (relation to the PhD study of Sophie Vonk).

A selection of activities on Statia is analysed (related to an oil terminal and dive tourism), and if the need is expressed by potential project partners, the application of the tool can be expanded to other Caribbean islands, where renewable energy initiatives are undertaken.