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Policy support tool

Ecosystem Services Card Game

Aim of the resource

It serves a double purpose: 1) it encourages interviewees to reflect what an ecosystem services means to him/her and thus provides qualitative information. 2) by rating ecosystem services according to a relevant evaluation criterion, a quantitative ranking of ecosystem services can be obtained and comparisons between ecosystem services can be made. The evaluation criterion usually relates to the demand side of ecosystem services (e.g. importance, usefulness, level of use, desirability), but it could also be used to evaluate the supply side (e.g. occurrence, level of supply).

Using the resource
Requirements for using the resource:
<li>Access to expertise to identify locally important ecosystem services.</li>
<li>Collection of&nbsp;new data through face-to-face interviews or group discussion(s).</li>
<li>Qualitative data collection and analysis skills are necessary.</li>
<li>Ability to work with researchers from other fields as well as with non-academic stakeholders is important.</li>
Potential benefits from using the resource
Relatively simple and quick.
Card sets can be tailor-made according to specific situations.
Can easily encompass all local relevant ecosystem services.
Stimulates stakeholders to think within a holistic ecosystem services framework ('social learning').
Elicitation of local knowledge and expertise.
Potential limitations from using the resource
Good interview skills are indispensable.
It is suitable to characterize provisioning and cultural services from the point of view of stakeholders, but regulating services are sometimes undervalued if stakeholder awareness and/or knowledge is limited on these topics.
Trade-offs between the actual use of services and the use of services in the future (intergenerational trade-offs) are not explicitly addressed.
Sub/region where used:
Scale of application:
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available:
Other languages in which the resource is available:
Dutch (Belgium)
Development stage:
Full, working product
Contact details
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The ecosystem services card game is a method developed to capture the sociocultural values related to ecosystem services. It combines photo-elicitation with a rating exercise.


    Subregions covered