Increasing the policy impact of ecosystem service assessments and valuations: insights from practice
Mainstreaming the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources across all sectors of the national economy, society and policy-making frameworks is a complex challenge. It is critical to have a clear understanding of the linkages, impacts and dependencies of human activities on ecosystems. Society’s interdependence with nature is revealed clearly when we focus attention on ecosystem services. Examining ecosystem services can therefore be used to support mainstreaming efforts and to inform development planning and decision-making. Ecosystem service assessments and valuations (ESAVs) are often commissioned, designed and conducted in ways that that do not achieve their full potential in terms of practical usefulness and policy relevance. This report was produced as a collaborative exercise between a number of conservation and development researchers, planners and practitioners, based on their own experience with studying, conducting and/or commissioning ESAVs. It also draws on a review of cases studies from the literature, research, as well as from various on-the-ground initiatives (TEEB, ProEcoServ, CSF, ValuES).