Demonstrating ecosystem service values in Africa

7th September 2012

Demonstrating ecosystem service values in Africa

Despite growing awareness of the importance of ecosystem services in supporting human well-being, conservationists are rarely able to provide policy-makers with robust information about the overall consequences of land use decisions. Existing locally-relevant data are too patchy and the methods, skills and resources needed to collect new information are typically unavailable. To address this issue, a consortium of organisations (under the umbrella of CCI) has developed an ecosystem services ‘toolkit’ that measures multiple services delivered by a site. The toolkit can demonstrate the ‘added value’ that high biodiversity sites often provide in terms of human well-being benefits. These benefits may occur at the local, national or global scale. It therefore promotes a better understanding of the social, political and economic factors related to site conservation and what could be done to achieve better outcomes for both biodiversity and human livelihoods.

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

Project Aims

This eighteen month project will train 10 African conservationists (and their institutions) to conduct ecosystem services assessments and use the results to promote better policy decisions. Selected participants will attend a practical training workshop prior to implementing the toolkit at several threatened high biodiversity sites in the region. A follow up workshop in the second year will provide support in analysing and interpreting their results for a policy audience. Capacity building through this project will therefore enable practitioners to work at the science-policy interface, to better inform real-world decision making.

Other outcomes from the project include greater awareness of the ecosystem services approach and engagement of more people in using the CCI toolkit for site-based conservation. The project will also contribute to generating novel data for future global meta-analysis of site-scale ecosystem service values and participants will provide useful feedback to help modify and improve the toolkit for wider use.

Project Overview

Type: Funded Projects
Theme: Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services
Start date: January 1, 2013
Status: Complete

Project team

CCI partners Involved

Other Organisations Involved


Thumbnail Image: João Carvalho/WikiCommons
Banner Image: Kalyan Varma

Related Resources

TESSA: A toolkit for rapid assessment of ecosystem services at sites of biodiversity conservation importance

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 of services and the distribution of any benefits among stakeholders is important, but the carrying out ecosystem service assessments generally relies on substantial resources or specialist technical knowledge.…