Nature is the answer: IUCN’s manual on ecosystem services

IUCN Manual "Tools for measuring, modeling, and valuing ecosystem services: guidance for Key Biodiversity Areas, Natural World Heritage Sites, and Protected Areas", 2018

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Guidance for good nature questions

IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) has recently published the manual “Tools for measuring, modeling, and valuing ecosystem services: guidance for Key Biodiversity Areas, Natural World Heritage Sites, and Protected Areas“.

Over 20 international experts wrote the report focusing on the benefits that nature provides to people and the everyday life global challenges that are in the planet; such as fight the climate change and create a sustainable development. This guidance is provided within a framework of respecting and taking into consideration their underlying biodiversity importance and/or conservation objectives, and indeed, is relevant for site conservation efforts in general.

Click on the image to download the Manual

Nature is connected to all of us

Ecosystem services include

  • provisioning services such as firewood, fisheries, and raw materials;
  • regulating services such as climate regulation, regulation of water flows, and water purification;
  • and cultural services such as recreation, scenic values, spiritual values, or values that are important
    for cultural heritage or identity.
According to Elena Osipova, from the IUCN’s World Heritage Programme,
“Natural World Heritage sites, Key Biodiversity Areas and protected areas are not only crucial for conserving biodiversity, they also provide a range of benefits and ecosystem services that support human well-being…Identifying and measuring these services can help better understand how people benefit from these places, and that understanding can then be integrated into management and decision-making processes”

Regional Reserve Callora River (Italy)

Decision free “Decision trees”

Selecting the right tool to be applied in a specific context with given resource constraints can be a challenging task, hence, the new IUCN manual helps to identify an appropriate tool through a set of “decision trees”, which are also available online in an interactive format.

Is organised as follows:

1. Introduce ecosystem services Learn more about the ecosystem services concept and assessments

2. Assess ecosystem services Identify ecosystem services, their condition, importance and trends

3. Map ecosystem services Identify the location and spatial extent of an area that provides ecosystem services and where beneficiaries are located.

4. Economic valuation of ecosystem services Calculate or estimate the monetary value of ecosystem services

The report is part of the IUCN-WPCA Best Practice Guidelines series. It has been prepared by the Ecosystem Services and Key Biodiversity Areas expert working group supported by Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), IUCN’s World Heritage Programme and the IUCN-WCPA Natural Solutions Specialist Group,  with funding and in-kind contributions provided by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA), Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at Arizona State University, Conservation International, SNAPP, and Wildlife Conservation Society.