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Uptake of Ecosystem Valuations in Policymaking in Europe's Overseas Entities

Uptake of Ecosystem Valuations in Policymaking in Europe's Overseas Entities

Application, barriers to use, and opportunities for improved uptake

The EU overseas entities support unique ecosystems which are home to an estimated one-third of the globally threatened species, including many endemic species. Because of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems services in EU ORs/OCTs both locally and to the EU and member states (MS), it is essential to develop effective approaches to biodiversity governance. Yet often short-term economic interests are given priority over the preservation of ecosystem services. Ecosystem valuations offer a policy tool to convert the concrete and abstract value that ecosystems and biodiversity contribute to EU OR/OCT economies into numbers.

The NetBiome-CSA project has collected information about the ecosystem valuation resources which exist specific to EU ORs/OCTs, yet so far there has been no broad investigation of the uptake of resources in policymaking. Through a series of interviews with stakeholders in five EU ORs/OCTs, we seek to create a more complete picture of the application of ecosystem valuation in policy practice.

Part I of this report gives an introduction to the concept of ecosystem valuation and its potential usefulness in policymaking. It then includes a review of the literature on governance of natural resources in the EU ORs/OCTs and characterises the state of the art in the integration of ecosystem valuation into policy based on existing literature.

Part II presents the results of stakeholder interviews about the uptake of ecosystem valuation in policymaking in the EU ORs/OCTs. Part II concludes with an analysis of the interview results and discussion of their implications for future research and outreach.


McFarland, Keighley and Holger Gerdes 2016: Uptake of ecosystem valuations in policymaking in Europe’s overseas entities Application, barriers to use, and opportunities for improved uptake.

Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Towards a new paradigm: the concept of ecosystem valuation
1.1 An introduction to ecosystem services
1.2 Ecosystem service valuation: translating the importance of ecosystems into monetary terms
1.3 How are ecosystem values determined?
2 The role and limitations of environmental valuations in the policy process
2.1 Nature-based solutions
2.2 Market based Instruments
3 Governance of natural resources in ORs/OCTs
4 Uptake of valuation studies in policymaking: the global context and the status quo in EU ORs/OCTs
1 Goals and methodology
1.1 Interviewee selection and representativeness
2 What is the state of data among stakeholders and where are the knowledge gaps?
2.1 Knowledge/awareness among interviewees
2.2 Knowledge/awareness among relevant stakeholders in the regions
3 What is the relevance of existing ecosystem valuations to the policy process?
3.1 What are the barriers and enablers for the uptake of ecosystem valuation knowledge in policymaking
3.1.1 Barriers
3.1.2 Enablers
4 What can be done to improve the relevance/uptake of ecosystem valuation?
4.1 Closing gaps in knowledge and participation
4.2 Engaging with policymakers
4.3 Focus on integration into to existing processes and other policy spheres
4.4 Beyond policymakers: educating the public, business, and other stakeholders
5 Discussion and conclusions
6 Annex: List of interviewees
7 References

Biodiversity, biodiversity valuation, ecosystem services, ecosystem service valuation, biodiversity policy, biodiversity management, participation, European Union, EU overseas entities, EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories, EU ORs/OCTs, interviews, literature review