Using ecosystem services in community-based landscape planning: science is not ready to deliver

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Community-based landscape governance is considered as conditional to achieving sustainable landscape. I consider landscape governance from the point of view of adapting landscapes to create value out of ecosystem services, using the social–ecological system model as a theoretical framework. I advocate the use of the term landscape services because it can serve as a common ground between science and local communities, and between scientists from different disciplines. Six principles for sustainable landscape change are presented, which can be developed as a checklist in planning, and as requirements to scientific methods. From the current literature it is obvious that ecosystem service research does not provide the type of science that is required to support sustainable, communitybased landscape planning. Research is mainly science driven, focussed on assessments at large spatial scale, and with policy users in mind. Active involvement of local stakeholders is scarce. There is a strong demand for approaches that are able to involve local governance networks and move the ecosystem services research out of the static mapping and evaluation approaches towards dynamic systems thinking. The chapter ends with a research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandscape Ecology for Sustainable Environment and Culture
EditorsB. Fu, K.B. Jones
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages368
ISBN (Print)9789400765290
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adaptive governance
  • Criteria for sustainability
  • Green infrastructure
  • Habitat networks
  • Knowledge application
  • Landscape change
  • Landscape services
  • Social-ecological system


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  • GIFT-T! (KB-14-003-025, KB-14-002-003)

    Steingröver, E.


    Project: EZproject

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