Governance of ecosystem services: What questions and research needs should the interdisciplinary community address?


Ecosystems provide a broad range of goods and services for people. These services form the basis of subsistence and well-being for humans. Thus, there is urgent need to safeguard the biological functions of ecosystems. How to take ecosystem services into consideration in decision making?The concept of ecosystem services has been introduced to integrate the protection of biodiversity and use of nature. It is gaining political momentum in natural resource management. Already in 2000 the UN Convention on Biodiversity COP5 called national governments as well as international organisations to appropriate ecosystem approach in national policies.Yet, little research is available on the economic, social and cultural values of ecosystem functions or the integration of ecosystem services approach to land use planning and management decisions, its implications on legal systems and everyday practices of natural resource use.What can researchers do?ALTER-Net has launched a process to identify and prioritise interdisciplinary research needs linked with ecosystem services. The main aim is to support the formation of active research teams by bringing together researchers with different disciplines within and between ALTER-Net partner institutes, and stakeholders from policy making, management, livelihoods, civil society and science donors. The research teams are supported in their efforts to develop research plans and funding applications.Key activities:International workshop on governance of ecosystem services1-2 focused meetings organized by the research teams formed during the workshopsBackground materials and communication through the websiteAll ALTER-Net partners are invited to contribute with their knowledge on ecosystem services and to allow for shared learning as a whole. During the process a network of ecosystem services contact persons is established to communicate the process within the partners.Outcomes:Map of interdisciplinary research initiativesTeams working on concrete research proposals and preparing for applicationsSynthesis of knowledge gapsFacilitationThe leader and main contact for the task force is Taru Peltola (SYKE).Other members of the task force are:
Philip Roche (Cemagref)
Leonard Sandin (SLU)
Odd Terje Sandlund (NINA)
Francis Turkelboom (INBO)
Janne Rinne (SYKE)The process is based on the interdisciplinary research framework developed in ALTER-Net to facilitate the identification of interdisciplinary research proposals and support the formation of active research teams. More information about the process and the methods developed can be found from


ecosystem services


Name Role Start End
Turkelboom, Francis member 2009-01-01 2011-01-01


Name Role Start End
OG Ecosysteemdiensten member 2009-01-01 2011-01-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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