’Mind the Gap’ between ecosystem services classification and strategic decision making
Although ecosystem services are increasingly embedded in policy agendas, it is largely unknown if and how policy actors are considering them. This paper features a retrospective analysis of interviews with key policy actors involved in the strategic decision-making process leading to an innovative large-scale Dutch coastal management project, the Sand Motor mega beach nourishment. The interviews were analysed to ascertain which ecosystem services were considered and how they were described by policy actors. The findings suggest that broad, unspecified ecosystem services were adopted highly by the policy actors, while specific ecosystem service categories were rarely considered. Also, relatable and easy to understand cultural ecosystem services also constituted critical arguments for policy actors in their strategic decision making. The study suggests a ‘translation step’ between ecosystem services research and decision making for ecosystem services to truly align with relevant aspects of decision making.
Alexander van Oudenhven et al, 2018, ’Mind the Gap’ between ecosystem services classification and strategic decision making. Ecosystem Services. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.09.003