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Shades of grey challenge practical application of the Cultural Ecosystem Services concept
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Swedish Biodivers Ctr, Box 7016, S-75007 Uppsala, Sweden.
Ricardo Energy & Environm, Gemini Bldg,Fermi Ave, Didcot OX11 0QR, Oxon, England.
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Forest Resources Management, S-90183 Umea, Sweden; Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Ecol, Box 7044, S-75007 Uppsala, Sweden.
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Forest Resources Management, S-90183 Umea, Sweden.
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2017 (English)In: Ecosystem Services, ISSN 2212-0416, E-ISSN 2212-0416, Vol. 23, p. 55-70Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite rapid advances in development of the ecosystem services (ES) concept, challenges remain for its use in decision making. Cultural ES (CES) have proven particularly difficult to pin down and resultant “shades of grey” impede their consideration by decision-makers. This study undertakes a literature review of CES to highlight the shades of grey, briefly illustrates findings by reference to the Swedish mountain landscape, then addresses potential implications for practical decision making. The concept of CES is complex and difficult to operationalize. The root of confusion appears to be a lack of rigour in identifying CES, hindering identification of proper methods for determining: the ecosystem elements that underpin CES; the beneficiaries of CES and how they value benefits delivered; and how CES may vary in space and time. We conclude by proposing a framework of questions, which we relate to the ES cascade model, that is intended to help researchers and decision-makers to reflect when considering CES. Answers to the questions should enable decision-makers to prioritise policy development or implementation in relation to the differing needs of potentially competing beneficiaries and what needs to be done or not done to the ecosystem, where, when and by whom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 23, p. 55-70
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312476DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.11.014ISI: 000396986200007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-312476DiVA, id: diva2:1063446
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, NV-06586-13Available from: 2017-01-10 Created: 2017-01-10 Last updated: 2018-09-24Bibliographically approved

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