The challenge of embedding an ecosystem services approach: patterns of knowledge utilisation in public policy appraisal
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
The rise of an ‘ecosystem services approach’ (ESA) to policy-making has refocused attention on the utilisation of environmental knowledge in policy making. Policy level appraisal has long been identified as a critically important venue in which knowledge should be utilised. Important lessons can therefore be drawn from these experiences to inform the future potential of an ESA. This paper addresses this politically important challenge by reporting on the content of 75 policy appraisals undertaken in the United Kingdom between 2008 and 2012. The UK is a ‘most likely’ case for knowledge utilisation given its long-standing commitment to both policy appraisal and ESA. However, analysis reveals that only some elements of an ESA appear in the sampled appraisals, and those mostly among appraisals produced by the environment ministry. Drawing on theories of policy appraisal and knowledge utilisation, this paper concludes that a better understanding of the barriers to embedding an ESA in policy appraisal is urgently needed in order to inform wider debates about how to institutionalise ecosystem values in policy making.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 32, pp. 247 - 262