Governance of ecosystem services


This project aims to co-design a research agenda around the governance of ecosystem services by bringing together the knowledge of the global ecosystem service community and facilitate opportunities to address this agenda through collaborative research.

There are multiple ways across the world to secure the sustainable and equitable flow of ecosystem services and their benefits. But what influences the emergence of appropriate governing structures and processes that promote equity in access to, and sustainability in the flow of, ecosystem services?

Understanding ecosystem service governance - viz. the ways in which power is shared, decisions are made, and formal and informal institutions are structured and interact to influence decision-making - is fundamental to fostering pathways towards sustainability.

This is why this project is important. We will facilitate the co-design of a research agenda aimed at deepening our understanding of the governance of ecosystem services by bringing together the variety of voices present in the global ecosystem services knowledge community in order to shape governance research in this area.

By doing so, we also address Challenge 3: what are the best practices for the governance of ecosystem services? of the science strategy of ecoSERVICES (Bennett et al. (2015)).


We have developed a 5-minute survey that asks, based on respondents' personal experiences, what are the three most compelling research questions related to the governance of ecosystem services. This survey is currently open online and available in seven languages:

English  |  Français  |  Español  |  Português  |  汉 语  |  العربية  |  日本人
Please, take the survey and share with your colleagues!

We will use the results to

  1. develop research agendas for networks of scientists and practitioners who aim to co-produce knowledge aimed at supporting transitions to sustainability, and
  2. inform funders about key agendas for future research as part of Future Earth’s commitment to create focus on where the research and stakeholder community feel that their work will bring the greatest benefits.

Project progress

  • October 2016 • Survey launch. See invitation here.
  • March - August 2016 • Translation of survey in seven languages and preparation of diffusion strategy.
  • December 2015 - February 2016 • Development of survey.
  • November 2015 • Project starts.

October 2016