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VoW - Value of Waves and Ocean Culture

VoW - Value of Waves and Ocean Culture, aims to promote the recognition of the intrinsic value of the national surf zones and to support local decision makers in the development of strategies for the implementation of businesses, in support of sustainable planning and management strategies for the management and protection of coastal areas and the development of coastal communities.

Relevance of the project

 The VoW project aims to promote the recognition of intrinsic value of national surfing areas and to support local decision-makers in the development of strategies for the implementation of businesses in support of sustainable planning and planning strategies for management and protection of the coast and the development of coastal communities.


We know that in Portugal the annual growth rate of the number of surfers, is between 25 to 30% (Bicudo and Horta 2009) and our coast is one of the most demanded destinations for the practice of various sports that use the wave. In this way it is fundamental to reinforce the importance of the evaluation and preservation of this natural resource and surrounding ecosystem.

What do we evaluate?


In addition to other studies that measured exclusively the economic value of the wave, for example Mavericks (California, USA), the VoW quantifies the benefits from the economic, environmental, social and cultural point of view resulting from surfing (Bodyboard, Kneeboard, Longboard, Kayak, Skiming, Paddle Surf, Kitesurf), jumping ahead qualitatively.


Components evaluated:


Economic: This section aims to know the daily expenses of visitors and the consumption related to the surfing business. The origin, typology, reason for coming and amounts spent by the visitors are considered in order to allow to know the existing potential for the development of the local economy.


Environmental: Information on the current state about ecosystems and user perceptions is vital information for investors and policy makers, allowing a sustainable strategy based on the economic exploitation of the wave, preserving resources and protecting the natural environment. This sustainability strategy aims to promote the destination of surfing and the continuous flow of practitioners, visitors, maintaining the "life" of the business and services essential to the sustainability of the different communities.


Social and Cultural: In this perspective, we evaluate the knowledge of society on the main icons of each region linked to the history of surfing. Through the local traditions and experiences, the social and cultural identity of the user communities is evaluated in order to inform policy makers. The identification of common views and existing conflicts are explored in a collaborative approach to wave resource management.

What are the benefits?


Based on the idea that the target public is part of society as a whole, namely the national and local governing bodies, university and school representatives, associations, representatives of the surfing industry, sports centers, athletes and tourism representatives, this project summarizes some advantages for the various communities.


For coastal communities: It strengthens the active and responsible engagement of these communities through project disseminating, engaging stakeholders and raising awareness of the value of local resources to become agents of sustainability promotion (through the use and dissemination of good practices).


For economic agents: In addition to ensuring the active and responsible commitment of economic agents, the project aims at thorough analysis of monetary component in its various aspects, paying particular attention to ecosystem services and entrepreneurship, especially in its local expression.


For decision-makers: In a period when the sea assumes particular importance in international policies and government strategy, resources related to it must be safeguarded while being enhanced. To this end, it is important to establish guidelines for advising public policy on efficient ways to manage adequately existing resources - vital for sustainability - while taking advantage of their potential and ensuring proper use and preservation.


To the scientific community: The project aims to take a qualitative leap forward in the strategic evaluation of resources that integrate non-monetary values ​​of waves. In a more up-to-date perspective, it evaluates a service of marine and coastal ecosystems, an essential element for the development of adequate public policies. The perspective is interdisciplinary, aiming to generate new knowledge and innovative approaches, framed in methodologies that are articulated and allow a less partial and sectoral evaluation.

What does territories it cover?


The study has a national character and bets on 10 surfing zones, in 22 counties of mainland Portugal and autonomous regions, which have already received the test of the circuit of WSL - World Surf League, of which Costa de Caparica is included.





Who are we?


Developed at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT–UNL), the project counts with the collaboration of SOS Association - Save the Surf, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, of Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa (ICS–UL),  and was launched in partnership with Nova School of Business and Economics and Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da UNL.


Relatório VoW - Costa de Caparica 2013-05-11

Relatório VoW - Peniche 2013-11-30

Relatório VoW - Cascais 2014-10-02

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