Community-based governance: Implications for ecosystem service supply in Berg en Dal, the Netherlands

Lenny G.J. Van Bussel*, Nina De Haan, Roy P. Remme, Marjolein E. Lof, Rudolf De Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Governance is an essential element in land-use decision-making and ecosystem management choices and thus for ecosystem service provisioning. Although a community-based approach, i.e. governance involving actors from all spheres of society (the state, market and civil society), is considered most appropriate for natural resource management, there is a lack of knowledge about its actual effects on environmental outcomes and ecosystem service supply in particular. To obtain insight in the effect of governance on ecosystem service provision in our study region (Berg en Dal, the Netherlands), we constructed ecosystem service maps for the period 1995 to 2012 using land-use maps. Also an inventory of the implemented governance models was created, based on interviews with stakeholders, supplemented with literature research. Our results show that 1) governance in Berg en Dal changed from top-down to more community-based models during the studied period; and 2) that the potential and actual supply of the majority of the investigated regulating, cultural and habitat ecosystem services increased during the studied period, at the expense of agricultural production. The interviewed local stakeholders also indicated that they have the perception that the landscape has improved during the last two decades. Although there is a clear connection between governance and improved ecosystem service supply, more research is needed to further develop causal relationships explaining the indirect effects and non-linear behavior within ecosystem service governance systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106510
JournalEcological Indicators
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Agricultural landscape
  • Co-management
  • Collaborative management
  • Land-use maps
  • Multi-level governance
  • Temporal dynamics


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