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Knowledge Needs for the Operationalisation of the Concept of Ecosystem Services

January 30, 2018 |

This paper was originally published in Ecosystem Services.


  • We identify four interrelated areas of knowledge need for turning the ecosystem service concept into practice.
  • These knowledge needs focus on setting up and undertaking multi-stakeholder collaborations.
  • Scientific communities need to develop know how for working with other stakeholders across contexts.
  • Developments in transdisciplinary research provides a promising way forward.

Abstract: As environmental challenges and their management are increasingly recognised as complex and uncertain, the concept of ecosystem services has emerged from within scientific communities and is gaining influence within policy communities.

To better understand how this concept can be turned into practice we examine knowledge needs from the perspective of the different stakeholders directly engaged with the operationalisation of ecosystem systems concept within ten socio-ecologically different case studies from different countries, levels of governance and ecosystems.

We identify four different but interrelated areas of knowledge needs, namely; (i) needs related to develop a common understanding, (ii) needs related to the role of formal and informal institutions in shaping action on the ground, (iii) needs related to linking knowledge and action, and (iv) and needs related to accessible and easy to use methods and tools. These findings highlight the need to view knowledge as a process which is orientated towards action.

We discuss the potential to develop transdisciplinary research approaches and the development of tools and methods explicitly as boundary objects in the ecosystem service science community to develop more collaborative practices with other stakeholders and facilitate the operationalisation of the concept of ecosystem services across contexts…”

Read on and access the full paper at: Ecosystem Services.

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