The Infographic Impact Assessment for MCZs

16 June 2015

The UK Government traditionally relies on Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) as a tool to support environmental decision-making, but looking beyond this rather limiting approach should lead to better outcomes for people and the ocean  The purpose of our this Infographic Impact Assessment (IIA) is to present trade-offs in a visual way and lay out  a much more holistic range of criteria to conside.

People attach high value to these MCZs and that the protected areas would  also  support significant benefits to people which can not be measured in monetary terms and which are frequently overlooked.

So far, twenty-seven new MCZs have been designated from an original list of 127 recommended by regional stakeholder groups  in 2012. While consideration of some prospective sites becomes very focussed on the monetized costs in  Impact Assessment summary sheets, the IIA includes monetized benefit estimates. A consultation on a third tranche of sites is expected in 2016 and it is hoped that the approach can help decision makers value these marine sites holistically when deciding on their designation.


In addition to an overall summary of all 23 sites currently being consulted on, illustrative ’infographic impact assessments’ have been developed for four individual sites that present a more holistic  range of information to support decision-making  in a  way that goes beyond  the very narrow cost-based  focus of standard economic decisions making tools.


The four sites presented are: Offshore Overfalls; Western Channel; Coquet to St Marys and Holderness Inshore. In every case, including offshore sites that are not easily visited by people, the estimated benefits of protection are shown to outweigh costs.

1 - MCZ summary
2 - Holderness
3 - Coquet
4 - Western Channel
5 - Offshore Overfalls
6 - Infographics Impacts Assessments - Methodology