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Looking to the future of ecosystem services : a review of available approaches

Attlee, A, Reed, M, Carter, C, Scott, AJ, Vella, S, Hardman, M and Neumann, RK 2015, 'Looking to the future of ecosystem services : a review of available approaches' , CAB Reviews, 10 (024) , pp. 1-13.

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Abstract

Benefits provided by the natural environment that support future human wellbeing are increasingly being compromised by human activities. Consequently, the effects of socio-economic and environmental drivers on the future provision of these “ecosystem services” are highly uncertain. It is therefore increasingly important that decision-makers in policy and practice assess the range of futures that they may face, in order to adapt effectively so that the essential functions that ecosystems perform to support human wellbeing can be maintained. This paper therefore reviews futures research tools for the roles they may play in developing and implementing ecosystem services policy and practice. It unpacks their scope, purpose and efficacy, and evaluates how successfully s h futures tools have been used to work with ecosystem services. It provides a typology of futures tools based on the epistemological beliefs that underpin them and the extent to which they construct futures as a directed or emergent process. It considers futures tools for assessing ecosystem services ranging from the qualitative to quantitative. The paper concludes that futures tools for assessing and planning for ecosystem service futures must be flexible, heterogeneous, scalable, transparent, valid and useable by stakeholders.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: CAB Reviews
Publisher: CABI
Funders: Research Councils UK, Defra, Welsh Government
Depositing User: M Hardman
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2016 10:39
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/37094

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