Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Use Cases - Coastal Systems

Use Cases - Coastal Systems

The table below describes different ways that NESP and partners have used ESCMs. Each is linked to a short use case, describing a context in which that use has occurred.

ESCMs can... Link
Facilitate a shared understanding of ecosystem services. Building and working with these models can help managers and researchers move beyond examining ecological outcomes of habitat management to mapping out impacts to people and what they care about. By clearly illustrating connections between different ecological and social aspects of a system, these models can help spur thinking about the variety of partners and expertise needed to fully understand the impacts that a particular management action or external driver will have. Download
Jump-start ecosystem services and/or socio-economic metric selection. Since ESCMs help to identify the full suite of socio-economic outcomes linked to an intervention, they are a useful starting place for selecting common metrics that would allow for easier comparison between ecosystem services outcomes of different projects. Download
Become an evidence framework. By considering available evidence for each link in the chain, we have an easy way of mapping what is known about these ecosystems, the expected direction and magnitude of changes, and to where there are gaps in evidence suggesting research or monitoring priorities. Download
Create a foundation for ecosystem service quantification and valuation. These models can act as a framework for thinking about necessary data and analytical models for quantifying the range of outcomes relevant to a particular site. Download
Identify services and beneficiary groups. By extending these models all the way out to ecosystem services and social outcomes you can start to think about how different groups will be impacted by ecological changes resulting from management decisions. Download
Specify and highlight cultural services. Cultural ecosystem services, or the intangible benefits that nature provides to people, are often the most significant services that an ecosystem provides. But because these services are difficult to measure, they are often ignored in decision-making. Using an ESCM to explicitly define how aspects of culture will be affected by a changing ecosystem can bring these services more deliberately into a management or decision-making context. Download

Additional use cases submitted by members of the NESP community:

Adobe PDF icon  ESCMs as a Participatory Research Tool in Resource Management: A Use Case from Key-Log Economics