UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on. Work Package Report 9: Embedding an Ecosystem Services Framework in appraisal: Key barriers and enablers
UK National Ecosystem Assessment
The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) perceived the problem of how to better safeguard ecosystems to be partly about new knowledge development, but also about inadequate knowledge utilisation. However, the UK NEA did not systematically explore why this situation had arisen or what could be done to address it. This Work Package therefore investigates the scope for using an Ecosystem Services Framework (ESF) to embed a fuller consideration of ecosystem knowledge in UK appraisal systems, that is: national policy level Impact Assessment (IA); plan and programme level Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA); and project level Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). In this Work Package, ecosystem knowledge is taken to refer to knowledge on both the current state of, and the potential impact of policy interventions on, the services that ecosystems provide directly and indirectly to human well-being. All three appraisal levels are well-established, and hence are potentially important venues for more deeply embedding ecosystem knowledge in decision making. However, they also incorporate many more policy concerns than just the environment (EIA and SEA are applied in many sectors, most commonly via the planning process; IA is applied to all areas of policy making), hence the importance of understanding the interaction of enablers and barriers. The Work Package does this by extending on the ‘policy response’ examples of Chapter 27 of the UK NEA, to produce a more systematic analysis of what facilitates and what hinders the embedding of the ESF in everyday decision making practices. It draws on: • a comprehensive review of the literature; • analysis of a large number of published appraisal documents to examine how far the ESF has been considered in recent policies, programmes and projects; • interviews with practitioners who undertake, oversee, and are affected by appraisal, to investigate the validity of the lessons drawn and better understand the patterns observed in the documentary analysis. The most salient barriers and enablers that arise from this analysis are classified into three main types: micro (‘behaviour’), meso (‘institutional culture’) and macro (‘social and political context’).
Some of the work for this Work Package was also supported by the European Union FP7-funded LIAISE project and the NERC Valuing Nature Network-funded BRIDGE project
This is the final published version. Available from the publisher via the link in this record
Russel, D., Turnpenny, J., Jordan, A., Bond, A., Sheate, W., & Adelle, C. (2014) UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on. Work Package Report 9: Embedding an Ecosystem Services Framework in appraisal: Key barriers and enablers. UNEP-WCMC, LWEC, UK
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