Practical application of the Ecosystem Service Approach (ESA): lessons learned and recommendations for the future

Type Article
Date 2018-01
Language English
Author(s) Beaumont Nicola J1, Mongruel Remi2, Hooper Tara1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK
2 : UMR Amure, Marine Economics Unit, Ifremer, Centre de Brest, Plouzané, France
Source International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management (2151-3732) (Informa UK Limited), 2018-01 , Vol. 13 , N. 3 , P. 68-78
DOI 10.1080/21513732.2018.1425222
Keyword(s) ecosystem services, management, coastal, valuation, uncertainty, recommendation

An Ecosystem Service Approach (ESA) is increasingly advocated for use in both environmental management and academic applications. However, despite extensive conceptual development, there are still very few examples of the effective use of the ESA for operational management. This contribution reports on the field application of the ESA at six marine and coastal case study sites. Each case study demonstrates a variation on an interdisciplinary approach to translate complex natural science data into ecosystem service terminology, and then explores the usefulness of this information in a management context. From these experiences 6 key recommendations are made to aid the future application of the ESA: (1) Invest resources in collective planning of ESA; (2) apply dynamic and connected approaches including multiple ES; (3) undertake ESA at a local scale; (4) employ interdisciplinary research; (5) work proactively and transparently with data gaps and uncertainty; (6) record ESA and resultant impact. For each recommendation an accompanying discussion of state of the art tools and methods is provided to promote their attainment.

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