Connecting governance interventions to ecosystem services provision: a social-ecological network approach.

Published online
29 Oct 2021
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
People and Nature

Metzger, J. P. & Fidelman, P. & Sattler, C. & Schröter, B. & Maron, M. & Eigenbrod, F. & Fortin, M. J. & Hohlenwerger, C. & Rhodes, J. R.
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The fulfillment of the benefits resulting from services provided by nature requires an integrated framework that combines appropriate ecosystem service governance with spatially explicit models of service provision. Here, we propose using a social-ecological network approach to develop a 'landscape governance framework' that identifies how different types of governance can act on supply, demand and flow of ecosystem services through changes in landscape structure and connections. Starting from undesirable situations where demand exceeds supply, we exemplify the application of this conceptual model considering hierarchical (e.g. creation of protected areas), market (e.g. payments for environmental services) and community-based (e.g. enhancing links between stakeholders) governance approaches. We show how interventions associated with each of these approaches act in distinct ways to regulate different components of the service provision chain in heterogeneous landscapes. Filling such knowledge gaps can help identify appropriate governance interventions depending on factors that limit provision: restricted supply, demand or flow. The application of the landscape governance framework entails challenges related to availability of data and limited understanding of key underlying mechanisms. However, it opens important new research questions at the interface between governance and ecosystem services, with great potential as a tool for landscape management that aims to achieve ecosystem service sustainability.

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