Governing ecosystem services: National and local lessons from policy appraisal and implementation

René Verburg*, Trond Selnes, Pita Verweij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The TEEB approach to the use of ecosystem services has found its way to policy as a means to biodiversity conservation and greening of the economy. In this paper we analysed the uptake of the TEEB approach at national and local levels by applying a framework that revolves around the problem, approach and solution frame. At the national level (United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands) TEEB is mainly used to develop integrated decision making. In policy documents the importance of clearly formulated divisions of tasks is emphasised, while the practical implementation is transferred to lower government levels and stakeholders from the private sector. At the local level explorative studies are implemented, while a shared vision is often a major outcome of such processes. Shared visions are directed to incentives and management plans and also point to new societal challenges for future development. The uptake of an ecosystem services approach requires new types of contracts, ample resources, sufficient knowledge and new modes of governance to attract societal involvement. The research suggests that long term engagement of stakeholders in the participatory processes was however not guaranteed due to insufficient resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-197
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Ecosystem services approach
  • Participation
  • Policy practice
  • Stakeholders


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