Measuring and monitoring ecosystem services at the site scale: building practical tools for real-world conservation

This project aims to develop and deploy a rapid assessment tool to understand how far conserving sites for their biodiversity importance also helps to conserve different ecosystem services (ESs), relative to a converted state. The tool is being piloted at a diverse range of sites in the UK, Nepal and Montserrat. Publication of the methods will be through the peer-review literature and the development of a 'toolkit' user-manual.

This project was funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation.

Project Aims

To develop and deploy a rapid assessment tool to understand how far conserving sites for their biodiversity importance also helps to conserve different Ecosystem Services (ESs), relative to a converted state. The legacy of this project will include:

  1. A valuable addition to the currently meager set of site-scale case studies estimating the net economic consequences of conservation
  2. Fresh information for advocacy at the focal sites and in surrounding regions
  3. The development of a generic tool for rapid site-based service assessment and monitoring elsewhere (e.g. across Birdlife International’s network of Important Bird Areas (IBAs - for more information, please see the related link below).

Conservation Impact

The outputs of this project have been used to generate further collaborative work including:

  • Adding further modules to the tool, including methods for rapidly assessing the ability of natural habitats to protect coastlines from storm damage
  • Extending the tool to include not just biophysical quantification of ecosystem service values, but also socio-economic evaluation to assess differential distribution of services and impacts on people in diferent socio-economic circumstances
  • Plans to design, deliver and support a web-based user-friendly version of the tool.
  • Developing fundraising proposals with new partners engaged, to roll-out the toolkit to other sites globally and improve its content
  • To initiate a CCI project on training of African conservation professionals to understand and implement the toolkit at selected sites
  • To support BirdLife in producing a Nepal National Report on biodiversity and ecosystem services as a result of engagement in this project

Outputs

  1. A practical and non-technical Toolkit Booklet: Measuring and monitoring ecosystem services at the site scale
  2. Report: Conserving biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services at Important Bird Areas in Nepal - released during the CBD COP - 11 Hyderabad meeting held in October 2012

CCI partners Involved

The Department of Zoology carries out wide-ranging work in ecology and conservation including conservation science, aquatic ecology, pathogen evolution and evolutionary ecology. Research of the...
BirdLife International is a strategic global partnership of conservation organisations in over 100 countries, working to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, and to promote...
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in...
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...

Other Organisations Involved

Related Resources

Resource Title Description Type
Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) provides accessible guidance on low-cost methods for how to evaluate the benefits people receive from nature at particular sites in... Toolkits
Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a UK wetland Restoring degraded land is often seen as an important way of enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services, but information on the costs and benefits of restoring land is scarce. In this paper... Journal articles
Conserving biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services at Important Bird Areas in Nepal This report presents the results of a study which has helped to test a new practical ‘toolkit’ for assessing ecosystem services at the sitescale. The methods used are accessible to non-experts and... Working papers and reports
Measuring and monitoring ecosystem services at the site scale: toolkit booklet This booklet is one of the outputs of the project Measuring and monitoring ecosystem services at the site scale: building practical tools for real-world conservation funded and supported through CCI’... Toolkits
Potential impact of invasive alien species on ecosystem services provided by a tropical forested ecosystem: a case study from Montserrat In this paper, published in Biological Invasions, the authors estimate the effect of feral livestock control on ecosystem services provided by Centre Hills reserve in Montserrat, to evaluate whether... Journal articles
TESSA: A toolkit for rapid assessment of ecosystem services at sites of biodiversity conservation importance Many sites that are important for biodiversity conservation also provide significant benefits (i.e. ecosystem services) to people. Understanding the effects of changes to a site on the the delivery... Journal articles
What benefits do community forests provide, and to whom? A rapid assessment of ecosystem services from a Himalayan forest, Nepal In Nepal, community forestry is part of a national strategy for livelihoods improvement and environmental protection. However, analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts of community... Journal articles
Workshop report: Ecosystem services - past and future projects (February 2012) The workshop was facilitated by Ruth Swetnam and divided into morning and afternoon sessions. The focus of the morning was the presentation of results from the CCI projects related to ecosystem... Workshop proceedings