A stepwise approach helps practitioners, advisors and policy makers in recognizing and integrating ecosystem services into plans, programs and concrete development-related decisions. This approach is not a fixed recipe, but is intended to guide decision-makers in designing their own processes for appraising and considering nature's benefits in their choices.
This overview gives a first impression of the stepwise approach on how to recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystem services in order to integrate it into development planning. It is based on the findings of the TEEB studies and the TEEB approach, other studies and manuals (particularly WRI 2008 and WBSCD 2011) and the practical experience of GIZ projects and programmes.
The first step is all about establishing the objectives and process design.
The second step will help you prioritize the ecosystem services which are most relevant to the development plan and its key intended beneficiaries/target groups. Try to focus on 3-6 ecosystem services considered to be sources of risk or opportunity to your development plan in order to produce concrete results. This step will also help you identify users of the ecosystem services that may affect or be affected by the development plan.
In this step, the current status and main trends in the supply and demand for the selected ecosystem services are analysed. A draft situation analysis will be conducted to assess the present state of the ecosystem services in question, and an analysis will be made of likely future changes in demand and supply. Subsequently, you will assess key drivers affecting the ecosystem services and possible future trends resulting from changes in the drivers. This step will illustrate the cause-and-effect relationships within your scope.
This step will give you an overview of the institutional and cultural framework. It will include analysis of the policies, regulations and informal rules that directly or indirectly affect your key ecosystem services, as well as the key institutions and traditional authorities that influence ecosystem management. This information will help you understand the underlying causes of the existing drivers affecting the ecosystem services. The results will be important for identifying and weighing possible measures in the next step.
First summarize the main risks and opportunities for your development plan using the information gathered before. Based on the identified risks and opportunities you will evaluate different policy options and instruments that could maintain or increase the flow of the selected ecosystem services related to your development plan, and reduce or avoid any negative effects on ecosystem services and their users arising from the development plan. Build on the information generated during the previous steps to identify entry points to key decision-making processes. Determine if an economic valuation of your priority ecosystem services could be a useful tool for enhancing the incorporation of those values into the development plan.
In this step you will define your implementation strategy and a concrete working plan including policies and instruments, stakeholder involvement, responsibilities and actions, as well as financial resources.
In principle, the IES approach can be applied at any scale − country-wide, sector specific, or village, company or business scale. Its results are, however, most practical and action-orientated at local and sub-national levels. This is because the assessment process requires specific data, which tends to be more generalised when it is aggregated at a larger scale. The approach is therefore most easily applied, and its results tend to be most robust, when it is used at smaller scales. It can also be applied to any sector. Projects and programmes that have obvious impacts or dependencies on the natural resource base or environment are particularly likely to benefit.