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Do ecosystem service maps and models meet stakeholders’ needs? A preliminary survey across sub-Saharan Africa

Willcock, Simon; Hooftman, Danny; Sitas, Nadia; O’Farrell, Patrick; Hudson, Malcolm D.; Reyers, Belinda; Eigenbrod, Felix; Bullock, James M.. 2016 Do ecosystem service maps and models meet stakeholders’ needs? A preliminary survey across sub-Saharan Africa. Ecosystem Services, 18. 110-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.02.038

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Abstract/Summary

To achieve sustainability goals, it is important to incorporate ecosystem service (ES) information into decision-making processes. However, little is known about the correspondence between the needs of ES information users and the data provided by the researcher community. We surveyed stakeholders within sub-Saharan Africa, determining their ES data requirements using a targeted sampling strategy. Of those respondents utilising ES information (>90%; n=60), 27% report having sufficient data; with the remainder requiring additional data – particularly at higher spatial resolutions and at multiple points in time. The majority of respondents focus on provisioning and regulating services, particularly food and fresh water supply (both 58%) and climate regulation (49%). Their focus is generally at national scales or below and in accordance with data availability. Among the stakeholders surveyed, we performed a follow-up assessment for a sub-sample of 17 technical experts. The technical experts are unanimous that ES models must be able to incorporate scenarios, and most agree that ES models should be at least 90% accurate. However, relatively coarse-resolution (1–10 km2) models are sufficient for many services. To maximise the impact of future research, dynamic, multi-scale datasets on ES must be delivered alongside capacity-building efforts.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.02.038
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 2212-0416
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: Africa, decision-maker, ecosystem service, policy-maker, science-policy interface
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
General > Science Policy
Date made live: 11 May 2016 13:41 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513611

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