Ecosystem Services: Are we seeing the whole picture in land-sea systems? Opportunities and challenges for operationalizing the ES concept.
Galván, David, E
Alonso Roldán, Virginia
Lopes, Priscila, F. M
Sanderson Bellamy, Angelina
Muñoz Barriga, Andrea
Ávila Flores, Giovanni
López Gómez, Connie Paola
Góngora, María Eva
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The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) highlights that human wellbeing depends on nature and is a ‘whole system aware’ view. Land-sea systems are examples of complex systems including interfaces that can be per ceived as boundaries, overlooking connections of the whole system. We explored the occurrence of several features of scientific knowledge building and governance of these systems that can hinder the recognition of connectivity, challenging an ES approach. We analyzed online survey responses from academics representing 22 research institutions and 13 case studies, all from Latin America. Results showed that the generation of scientific knowledge is not integrally approached and there are deficiencies in researchers’ communication with stake holders across the land-sea interface. These drawbacks in scientific knowledge building could be one of the reasons why an ES approach is rarely applied on governance of land-sea systems. The cases showed segmented governance schemes and that conflict situations enhance the visibility of ecosystem relations. The establishment of long-lasting institutional instruments and the involvement of intermediaries connecting sectors are com plementary paths to improve integrated governance. Using ES as a boundary concept could improve integration between sectors and ES trade-off analysis can help to introduce ecosystem relations to stakeholders related to their own interests.
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