How useful is an ecosystem services approach in participatory decision making? Lessons learnt

European Ecosystem Services Conference
University of Antwerp, Belgium
19-23 September 2016

The Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ecosystem Approach mandates stakeholder participation in (spatial) planning, decision making and priority setting to help preserve ecosystem function. As part of the European Ecosystem Service Conference, this session examined the success, and also the limitations, of modelling and mapping focused on ecosystem services when used to inform participatory planning for sustainable development, valuation, or similar decision making processes.

The session particularly seeks to share experiences in real cases, whether undertaken at national, regional or local scale, and will examine case studies from around Europe and beyond to learn lessons about factors influencing the level of success, how to measure it, and what we can learn from our mistakes. There is a wide literature on decision support tools across a number of domains that we can draw on. However, the Ecosystem Approach, with its transdisciplinary, multi-scale and systemic ethos provides additional challenges. The session aimed to consolidate the lessons learnt within this community so we can move forwards on the basis of best practice.


  • A full speaker list and abstracts can be viewed here. Meeting report to follow. 

This session was jointly hosted by the ESP mapping and integrated valuation working groups and the Natural Capital Initiative.