Valuing ecosystem services in community-based landscape planning: introducing a wellbeing-based approach

J. Liu, P.F.M. Opdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The challenge of incorporating the concept of ecosystem services in landscape planning has been widely acknowledged, yet values of ecosystem services are not well considered in current landscape planning and environmental governance. This is particularly the case when local stakeholders are strongly involved in decision making about adapting the landscape to future demands and challenges. Engagement of stakeholders introduces a variety of interests and motives that result in diverging value interpretations. Moreover, participative planning approaches are based on learning processes, implying that the perceptions of value evolve during the planning process. Current valuation approaches are not able to support such process. Therefore we argue that there is a need for a novel view on the mechanism of integrating valuation in the different stages of community-based landscape planning, as well as for tools based on this mechanism. By revisiting the original conception of ecosystem services and redefining the value of an ecosystem service as its comparative importance to human wellbeing, we develop a conceptual framework for incorporating ecosystem service valuation that captures the full spectrum of value and value changes. We acknowledge that in the social interactions during the planning process values are redefined, negotiated and reframed in the context of the local landscape. Therefore, we propose a valuation mechanism that evolves through the phases of the cyclic planning process. We illustrate the use of this mechanism by proposing a tool that supports stakeholder groups in building a value-based vision on landscape adaptation that contributes to all wellbeing dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1360
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • natural-resource management
  • monetary valuation
  • design
  • issues
  • sustainability
  • participation
  • commons


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

    Steingröver, E.


    Project: EZproject

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