Embedding an Ecosystems Approach in Decision Making: Measuring the Added Value

The aim of this study (funded by Defra, NR0135) was to identify the value added to decision makers in actual practice of taking an ecosystems approach The approach taken was to evaluate, individually and as a set, four demonstrator projects that are taking an ecosystems approach to policy or decision making and which are expected to influence societal choices in the management of environmental resources, such as changes of land use or investment in ‘green infrastructure’. Collectively these represent a diverse range of applications that can be used to better understand the barriers and opportunities for embedding an ecosystems approach in decision making, and hold a potential to provide examples of best practice that can demonstrate how the approach can be used more widely. The case studies were selected to encapsulate key issues surrounding the application of an ecosystems approach and to extend and not duplicate what has already been achieved through other work or initiatives funded by Defra and others. In particular, the work examines the extent to which a place‐based perspective may usefully frame questions such as those about environmental limits and values that arise in applying an ecosystems approach. The study aims to help Defra and its partners to better understand how the links between ecosystem services and human well‐being can be taken into account in decision making at different spatial and temporal scales. CEM (University of Nottingham) and Groundswell Research Associates collaborated on this project.

Further information:

Weaver, P., Potschin, M. and R. Haines‐Young (2010): Embedding an Ecosystems Approach in Decision Making; Measuring the Added Value. WP1 Methodology. Defra Project Code: NR0135

Embed project overview report: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/CEM/pdf/NR0135_EMBED_Overview_CEM_Report_No18.pdf