Ecosystem Services Governance: Multi-actors, multi-levels, multi-rationalities
Authors: Lasse Loft, Carsten Mann, Bernd Hansjürgens
Abstract: The mainstreaming of the concepts of biodiversity and moreover of ES has resulted in a paradigm shift in its ethical and political foundations, from conserving nature for its inherent/intrinsic value to an emphasis on anthropocentric values. This paradigm shift has also resulted in changes in the governance of natural resources over the past two decades. A trend in governance has been the increasing inclusion of multiple actors in a shift from more traditional state-centered governance to include civil society and private sector actors in ‘new governance’. However this new governance faces various challenges, rooted in the specificities of ES and biodiversity, like the lack of defined property rights, participation, multi-level and sectoral approaches, in transparent value judgments and knowledge gaps. This introductory paper focuses on the identification of the key challenges for ES governance and calls for improvement in the understanding of policy processes.
In markets we trust? Reality and myth in Market-Based-Instruments for environmental governance
Authors: Erik Gomez-Baggethun, Roldan Muradian
Abstract: The framing of environmental problems as a failure to price non-market ecoystem services has coincided with the revival of monetary valuation and ‘‘market-based instruments’’ (MBIs) in the environmental science and policy agendas. We draw on empirical case studies and institutional economic theory to examine the scope sand limits of MBIs in ecosystem services governance. We note that their scope of application to effectively address problems on the ground will be ultimately compromised by i) the non-fungible character of most ecosystem services complicates the definition of discrete tradable units, ii) the public good nature of most ecosystem services can involve high transaction costs for developing environmental markets, and iii) commodification of nature encounters wide societal contestation. We conclude by providing tentative criteria to define the scope and limits of markets in ecosystem services governance, including feasibility of technical substitutability and equivalence, transaction costs, basic needs, incommensurability, and environmental justice.
Governance of Ecosystem Services: Approaches for designing and adapting sustainable institutions
Authors: Carsten Mann, Lasse Loft, Bernd Hansjürgens
Abstract: Policy instrument design and implementation is as much a political as a technical issue, a matter of concern and judgment, fact and functionality. Drawing on a gap of empirical information on the political dimension of policy processes, this paper presents insights in policy practice as well as ideas and applications of participatory approaches to improve institutional design and its adaptation to socio-ecological systems. The influence of actors’ interests, networks, struggles over power, needs and demands on policy design and choice are empirically demonstrated. The political and societal implications for the future development of institutions for ES provision and biodiversity conservation are discussed and the chances and limitations for using participatory policy design and assessment approaches are highlighted. Ideally, these insights feed back into the practice of policy design and development. More robust and socially embedded policy solutions and institutions are the desired result of the analytical insights and methodological suggestions.