Collaborative scoping of ecosystem services in marine and coastal protected areas: The case of Arrábida Natural Park
Authors: Rita Lopes, Nuno Videira
Abstract: With the widespread recognition of the importance of Ecosystem Services (ES), new approaches are needed to promote integration of stakeholders’ perceptions on services provided by ecosystems. An innovative methodology is presented for collaborative scoping of ES in protected areas. This work emerged from a broader conceptual framework for valuing ES through a participatory and integrated platform with three phases: “setting the scene”, “deepen understanding” and “value articulation”. The paper addresses the implementation of the first phase through a participatory workshop. A stakeholder group was invited to collaboratively map the most important ES in the Arrábida Natural Park in Portugal, current threats and linkages with human wellbeing and the social, ecological and economic importance of the identified services. Results are analyzed in relation to the potential of the proposed participatory approach in fostering the production and integration of knowledge on ES values, as an input for policy and decision-making processes.
Used to highlight social interdependencies among people, could the ES concept foster concerted management of natural resources?
Authors: Cécile Barnaud
Abstract: The governance of ecosystem services (ES) is currently mainly thought in terms of market-based or state-based instruments. Only few authors consider governance mechanisms based on collective action among local users and managers of resources. And yet, trade-offs among ES can be seen as social trade-offs among diverse people with competing claims, and therefore as social choices that need to be made in an explicit and concerted way. This paper questions the theoretical and practical relevance of concerted and collective action for the management of ES. To do so, we suggest a framework that stresses social interdependencies underlying ES dynamics (between providers and beneficiaries, among beneficiaries and among providers of ES). We focus on social interdependencies because increased awareness of being interdependent is considered as a necessary step towards collective action. Used to highlight social interdependencies among people, could the ES concept foster concerted management of natural resources?
Strengthening conceptual links between ecosystem services and sustainability
Authors: Matthias Schröter, Alexander Van Oudenhoven, Anne Böhnke-Henrichs, Klara Helene Stumpf, Jacqueline Loos, Bas Amelung
Abstract: Sustainability and ecosystem services are scientific concepts that are increasingly being used to describe, analyse and guide the relationship between humans and the environment. Yet, current ecosystem service assessments tend to ignore the explicit consideration of basic sustainability principles. We provide an overview of two conceptual links between both concepts. First, the merits of the ecosystem service concept to achieve sustainability, and, second, the incorporation of sustainability principles within the ecosystem service concept. Ecosystem service assessments can analyse appropriate ecological scales of ecosystem use, and macro-level sustainability of a region. Furthermore, allocative efficiency can be improved through monetary valuation of ecosystem services. In turn, sustainability principles, such as long-term continuance of ecosystems, renewability and inter- and intragenerational justice, need to be stronger incorporated in the ecosystem service concept. We suggest a ‘conditional definition’ of ecosystem services which includes sustainability principles. This emphasizes the normative character of the ecosystem service concept.
Environmental Justice Conflicts and the Ecosystem Service Cascade: further developing the metaphor to accommodate real world challenges
Authors: Joachim H. Spangenberg
Abstract: Environmental justice conflicts emerge when ecosystem services (ESS) are defined, mobilised and appropriated. However, the social processes underlying these steps are rarely taken into account in ESS analysis, thus risking to turn ESS analysis into a legitimation science for prevailing, power based use patterns. The paper uses an revised version of the ESS cascade to integrate social processes, and uses several cases to illustrate the role of use value attribution, ecosystem service potential mobilisation and ESS appropriation for environmental justice conflicts. Doing so can help to avoid misguided advice and avoid several fallacies inherent to the current use of ESS analysis. Early analysis may contribute to avoiding conflicts, but at least will make the policy dimension behind them obvious, and accessible to political solutions.
3D versus 2D: The relevance of presentation media for valuing an Alpine landscape
Authors: Michael Getzner, Barbara Färber, Claudia Yamu
Abstract: In order to value (hypothetical) landscape transformations, survey respondents are usually presented pictures of diverse landscapes in order to visualize differences in the landscape appearance. In this paper, we present a class-room experiment ascertaining potential differences, of 2D versus 3D presentations of landscape changes. The landscape to be valued was a typical alpine pasture in the Austrian Alps. Respondents were divided into two groups; one was presented manipulated pictures (2D), the other one was equipped with 3D glasses and asked for their perception of landscape changes in the spatial simulation lab. It turns out that significant differences between the two groups could be detected; respondents did announce different trip frequencies, i.e. respondents in the 3D group stated a higher frequency of trips given compared to the 2D group. The study thus provides some indication that the mode of presentation (2D vs. 3D) significantly affects the economic valuation of landscape changes.
The efficiency of the public expenditure on the environment: A dynamic data envelopment analysis
Authors: Marta Meleddu, Manuela Pulina
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyse the efficiency of public spending on the environment. Various categories of public expenditure are identified, namely: air and water, energy and biodiversity. Each category of expenditure has an outcome, that may be controlled through available indicators. Data are based on the European system of national and regional accounts allowing for homogeneous comparisons. A dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied by employing a panel of 21 decision-making units (i.e. the Italian regions) for the time span 2004 – 2011. In times of economic turmoil, the overall performance of the public intervention in Italy has increased with respect to the pre-crisis period, particularly on the energy sector that has detected an outstanding positive variation in the total factor productivity, mostly driven by a frontier shift experienced in many regions in the North of the country.
Economic valuation of land use change: farming and forestry in Flanders
Authors: Wouter Van Reeth, Lieven De Smet, Toon Spanhove, Steven Broekx, Peter Van Gossum, Leo De Nocker, Kris Vandekerkhove
Abstract: When faced with the choice to allocate open space to farming or sustainable forestry, private landowners try to maximize their private benefits of marketed ecosystem services. The objective of our study is to investigate for the densely populated and urbanized region of Flanders to what extent the inclusion of non-marketed ecosystem services would alter the land use decisions by private landowners in favour of sustainable forestry.
We map the economic value of food and timber production, global climate regulation and recreation under two alternative scenarios, using spatial data about soil characteristics, land cover, land use regulations, demography and other socio-economic parameters. The aggregated valuation maps indicate where and to what extent the net social benefits of sustainable forestry outweigh those of current agricultural land use. However, the current institutional setting does not provide the appropriate incentives to motivate private land users to shift their land use to sustainable forestry.
The economic insurance value of wild pollinators in almond orchards
Authors: Yuki Henselek, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Stefan Baumgärtner
Abstract: Biodiversity provides an economic insurance value against the uncertain provision of ecosystem services for risk-averse economic agents. For pollination services, we determine the economic insurance value of wild pollinators in almond orchards for a risk-averse farmer. We develop an ecological-economic model to determine the risk premium and insurance value of wild pollinators in general, and employ empirical data of flower visits of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and wild pollinators such as several wild bee species (e.g., Andrena spp., Osmia spp.) and hover flies (Syrphidae) to almond trees in California. We predict a positive risk premium and insurance value because several wild pollinators, in contrast to the European Honeybee, forage even under inclement weather conditions. This result should be taken into account when deciding on how much to invest in the conservation of wild pollinators. Additionally, this model can be applied to other ecosystem services and supports an increase in biodiversity conservation.
Opportunities and Challenges for Mainstreaming the Ecosystem Services Concept in the Multi-level Policy Making within the EU
Authors: Christian Schleyer, Jennifer Hauck, Christoph Görg, Klara Winkler
Abstract: Mainstreaming the ecosystem services (ES) concept in EU policy making comes along with great expectations to improve environmental policy. For most non-environmental policies, however, mainstreaming has, if at all, just begun. The article addresses three major challenges: the need for vertical and horizontal policy integration, and stakeholder involvement in policy making. We find that mainstreaming the ES concept is ‘no silver bullet’ and that expectations management is necessary to avoid frustration. While participatory approaches may be helpful for local policy integration and balancing trade-offs across policy fields they may fail in face of administrative challenges of vertical policy integration or due to imbalanced power relations and opposing agendas on the horizontal policy integration. Here, new participatory elements need to be effectively linked up with existing administrations and (other) democratically legitimized decision-making structures. Finally, a facilitated process of reflection of the boundary work involved may improve mainstreaming the ES concept.
Ex-ante evaluation of a PES system – a Northern European case on means to safeguard recreation environment for nature-based tourism
Authors: Jukka Tikkanen, Teppo Hujala
Abstract: This contribution evaluates landscape and recreational values trading (LRVT), a market-based system for payments for ecosystem services, as a vehicle to facilitate institutional transformation that preserves forested recreational environment for nature-based tourism business. Ruka-Kuusamo in northeastern Finland serves as a case region for LRVT evaluation that focuses on technical feasibility, institutional support, surplus to ecosystem services, and social capacity. The data comprises surveys and group interviews with ecosystem service providers (forest owners) and buyers (tourism entrepreneurs and tourists), complemented with newspaper articles, forest data and meetings minutes of local authorities. The results show tension between general acceptance and practical readiness to start LRVT. While hidden agendas and locked power positions maintain inertia in institutional transformation, several years of research intervention and public discussion have resettled the network of local actors to a promising position that shows capacity to co-create a functional LRVT system.
Revisiting production and ecosystem services on the farm scale for evaluating land use alternatives
Authors: Frederik Lerouge, Kurt Sannen, Hubert Gulinck, Liesbet Vranken
Abstract: Land is a scarce resource and should be used in such a way that the increasing global demand for food and feed can be fulfilled, ensuring sufficient levels of ecosystem services. Decision makers and other stakeholders are in need of appropriate diagnostic tools to estimate trade-offs and synergies associated with land allocation and land use intensity decisions. This often implies trade-offs between food and biomass production and other non-provisioning ecosystem services. This paper presents an approach using ecosystem services in evaluating land use strategies. The approach combines spatial and economic analyses to evaluate land use in a rural area under urban pressure. A preliminary application of this approach to a case farm demonstrates the relevance of this approach, and highlights current challenges. The results suggest that the optimal land use scenario in consideration of ecosystem services depends on the biophysical and spatial context as well as on the socio-economic context.
Competitiveness and Ecosystem Services: Linking Concepts and Perceptions
Authors: Bálint Esse, György Pataki, Bálint Balázs, Eszter Kelemen, Gyorgyi Bela
Abstract: This study aims at uncovering the relationships between competitiveness and ecosystem services on both theoretical and empirical levels. Exploring the links between the two concepts can help in finding the possibilities of enriching both research fields, and also in integrating the ecosystem services concept into business thinking discourse dominated by competitiveness. In the empirical part we were interested, how do business actors think about ecosystem services, and whether they realize those services as potential competitive advantages at all. In the empirical study reported here the Delphi method was applied as data generating method. From the perceptions of stakeholders among other interesting topics we learned about the vagueness of competitiveness concept, its relative nature, and the risks these perceptions carry for ecosystems. We also met the surprisingly strong need for research in this topic, and for distributing this knowledge to education systems and markets.