The Partners

The MESP is possible with the help of its many working and managing partners.

Working Partners:

The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) is a partnership among governments, international organizations, and non-government organizations. It strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems by implementing Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and other relevant international conventions and agreements. The MESP owes its thanks to ICRI for initiating its database through ICRI's Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Valuation.



NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a non-profit, global, environmental policy research institute, which goes beyond research to put ideas into action. WRI’s main programs work on aspects of global climate change, sustainable markets, ecosystem protection, and environmentally responsible governance. Our work on coral reefs includes the Reefs at Risk series (modeling local and global threats to reefs), and our Coastal Capital series, which has implemented economic valuation of coral reef goods and services in five countries in the Caribbean.


The Marine Assessment and Decision Support (MADS) Programme at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) provides scientific information to guide decisions impacting on the marine and coastal environment. We achieve this by facilitating the collaborative creation and improvement of critical marine and coastal datasets, including those associated with marine ecosystem services, and enabling their use in relevant environmental and socio-economic assessments and tools.




Established in 1999, the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) provides a full range of the most current economic and socio-economic information available on changes and trends along the U.S. coast and in coastal waters. The program is funded by federal, state, university, and private grants and contracts.


The Ecosystem Commons is a networking tool and collaborative workspace for a broad-based community of practice on ecosystem services to organize, clarify, and advance the rapidly evolving arena of ecosystem services.  Individuals interested in linking ecosystem services science, practice, and policy to improve decision making and foster investment in conservation are encouraged to join and participate in this interactive community. This Community of Practice is a collaborative network of organizations and agencies that are actively involved in ecosystem services science and the development of market-based strategies and tools aimed at the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems like forests, farms, wetlands, coastal habitats, and other open space.

National Ecosystem Services Partnership (NESP)

The National Ecosystem Services Partnership (NESP) engages individuals and organizations at the public and private level to enhance collaboration within the ecosystem services community. NESP also works to strengthen coordination of policy and market implementation and research at the national level. As of December 2010 the partnership is housed at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and is guided by a multi-stakeholder steering group. NESP’s current focus is in two project areas. First, collecting examples of ecosystem services projects and programs in the United States. Second, exploring the potential for national coordination of indicators, metrics, and standards for ecosystem service quantification and crediting

The Marine Ecosystem Services (MARES) Program aims to protect crucial marine ecosystem services by harnessing markets and private sector investment, in order to complement conventional coastal and marine management and safeguard human well-being. MARES targets the following four main objectives in promoting its overall goal of protecting marine ecosystem services:

  1. developing a solid foundation of understanding of marine ecosystem services and their economic value;
  2. elaborating best practices for the conservation of those services;
  3. communicating information about ecosystem services and the potential to effectively and efficiently protect them, in order to raise awareness and generate political will; and
  4. helping to build a community of practice for marine payment of ecosystem services (PES) and other innovative financing mechanisms.

In meeting these objectives, MARES uses analyses, assessments, pilot projects, and other tools to derive lessons learned from PES initiatives and to build capacity for marine ecosystem services protection. The MARES Initiative presents a new focus for Forest Trends, building on the core work done by the organization in terrestrial ecosystems and conventional markets. It works with other Forest Trends programs and with the Katoomba Group and Ecosystem Marketplace to adapt their models in developing the conceptual underpinnings for marine PES markets and biodiversity offsets and to expand the global network of PES practitioners and experts to include the marine community.


The IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by more than 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, Switzerland.

 Coral Reef Initiatives for the Pacific


The Coral Reef Initiatives for the Pacific (CRISP) aims to develop a vision for the future of coral reefs and the communities that depend on them and to introduce strategies and projects to conserve their biodiversity, while developing the economic and environmental services that they provide both locally and globally.


Historically deep-sea habitats were examined in isolation but it has become increasingly apparent that we must consider the largest biome on Earth in its entirety. The aim of the International Network for Scientific Investigations of Deep-Sea Ecosystems (INDEEP) is to develop and synthesise our understanding of deep-sea global biodiversity and functioning and provide a framework to bridge the gap between scientific results and society to aid in the formation of sustainable management strategies.


GRID-Arendal is a centre collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), supporting informed decision making and awareness-raising. Our staff consists of a diverse team of international professionals. Through a dynamic portfolio of projects, we partner with various organizations to facilitate free access to and exchange of information in support of decision making and to promote a sustainable future.

Data Partners:

At Conservation International (CI), we are 900+ individuals in more than 25 global offices, united in our belief that every person on Earth deserves a healthy environment and the fundamental benefits that nature provides.We are committed to helping societies adopt a more sustainable approach to development—one that considers and values nature at every turn. Together, we will help reverse the unprecedented drawdown of Earth's natural resources, protecting nature and its gifts—a stable climate, fresh water, healthy oceans and reliable food—to ensure a better life for everyone, everywhere.

Please explore to find out more about the science-to-action approach and the scientific findings that we share through continuing communication with policy makers, resource managers, and other decision-makers at local to global levels to facilitate successful, science-based conservation.

The Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies is an endowed research component of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi dedicated to advancing the long-term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. HRI’s goal is to be a research center of excellence providing international leadership in generating and disseminating knowledge about the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and its critical role in the economies of the North American region.


The Harte Model is based upon the unique structure and mission of the Harte Institute. The institute is built around the synergy created by the focus of the six endowed chairs: coastal and marine geospatial sciences; ecosystems and modeling; biodiversity and conservation; ocean health; marine policy and law; and, socio-economics. It is the interdisciplinary collaboration between the chairs to address ecosystem scale problems and the understanding that people and the environment are inevitably linked in their solution that makes HRI unique in the community of marine science institutes.


The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) is a not-for-profit research & consultancy foundation which aims to support the conservation and sustainable use of natural ecosystems by building knowledge and stimulating awareness of the many ways in which people benefit from natural ecosystems. FSD's scientific assessments and on-going research are utilized by a range of organizations and institutions as input into decision-making that strives for outcomes based on ecological integrity, social well-being and economic welfare.



Besides our research and educational work, FSD provides institutional support to a number of on-going activities including the Ecosystem Services Partnership (, the Nature Valuation & Financing Network, the Natuurkalender (Nature’s Calendar),COST725 projects and the EarthCollective network (see for more details).


As a truly interdisciplinary marine science centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) is increasing understanding of how marine ecosystems function, how the ocean contributes to a thriving society and how this vital resource can be protected for future generations.



The Joint Research Centre is the scientific and technical arm of the European Commission. It is providing the scientific advice and technical know-how to support a wide range of EU policies. Its status as a Commission service, which guarantees independence from private or national interests, is crucial for pursuing its mission: "As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle.

Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners. 



The JRC has seven scientific institutes, located at five different sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, with a wide range of laboratories and unique research facilities. Through numerous collaborations, access to many facilities is granted to scientists from partner organizations.

The CLME Project assists participating countries from the Wider Caribbean Region to improve the management of their shared Living Marine Resources through an Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) approach. Their Information Management System & Regional Ecosystem Monitoring Programme provides  references to ecosystem valuation studies in the Caribbean. The CLME is a project of:



Managing Partners:



Guided by its working partners, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University manages  the  effort to build web-based tools and data portal, increase coordination between partners, and promote web-based networks of data users.

Duke University's Marine Geospatial Ecology Laboratory serves as the lead technical partner within the partnership. Using expertise honed in building map-based tools for many scientific consortiums, MGEL is inetegrating the databases archives to build a spatial data explorer and data.