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Scoping Ecosystem Services for Impact Assessment (WRI)

Aim of the resource

This manual allows the identification the key ecosystem services that (i) could be impacted by, or (ii) could constrain the successful implementation of the project. The complete manual covers six steps for integrating ecosystem services into corporate social and environmental impact analyses. Here we focus on the steps 1 and 2 for scoping ecosystem services - "Identifying relevant ecosystem services", and "Specifying how these key services can be analyzed further".

Using the resource
Requirements for using the resource:
<p><u><strong>Time and cost requirements:</strong></u><br />
• Conducting biophysical and socio-economic scoping exercises requires variable amounts of time. Depending on the complexity of the project, the extent of the project area and the available know-how, the scoping exercise may take a few days to weeks. Accordingly, costs depend mainly on the number of experts and the terms of their involvement.</p>

<p><u><strong>Type and level of expertise/skills needed:</strong></u><br />
• Biophysical and socio-economic expertise, strong knowledge about the area and experience with conducting scoping exercises are indispensable.</p>
Potential benefits from using the resource
The method makes an early recognition of dependencies between project aims and ecosystem services possible.
Guiding questions are entirely open to the full range of ecosystem services – this makes the approach applicable in any conceivable setting, and does not predetermine a thematic focus, (e.g. on water related issues).
Use of expert knowledge and the joint judgment capacity of a few key persons make this a flexible and cost- and time-effective approach.
Potential limitations from using the resource
If information is unavailable, or participants do not feel capable of answering the guiding questions, there is limited guidance for obtaining further insights.
The results are as good as the knowledge of the persons involved; notably, there is no strong mechanism for cross-checking for any bias or significant omission/neglect of certain aspects.
Assessment of effectiveness of the tool or instrument
<p>See "Scoping ecosystem services for impact assessment (WRI) Method Profile" (down below in "links").</p>
Contact details

Scoping ecosystem services for impact assessment (WRI) is a manual for identifying ecosystem services that have an impact on or could be impacted by project implementation – it is a stepwise approach developed by the World Resource Institute.


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