Advertisement

Ambio

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 97–105 | Cite as

Researchers must be aware of their roles at the interface of ecosystem services science and policy

  • Emilie Crouzat
  • Isabelle Arpin
  • Lucas Brunet
  • Matthew J. Colloff
  • Francis Turkelboom
  • Sandra Lavorel
Perspective

Abstract

Scientists working on ecosystem service (ES) science are engaged in a mission-driven discipline. They can contribute to science-policy interfaces where knowledge is co-produced and used. How scientists engage with the governance arena to mobilise their knowledge remains a matter of personal choice, influenced by individual values. ES science cannot be considered neutral and a discussion of the values that shape it forms an important part of the sustainability dialogue. We propose a simple decision tree to help ES scientists identify their role and the purpose of the knowledge they produce. We characterise six idealised scientific postures spanning possible roles at the science-policy interface (pure scientist, science arbiter—guarantor, issue advocate—guardian, officer, honest broker and stealth issue advocate) and illustrate them with feedbacks from interviews. We encourage ES scientists to conduct a reflexive exploration of their attitudes regarding knowledge production and use, with the intention of progressing toward a higher recognition of the political and ethical importance of ES assessments.

Keywords

Ecosystem services Mission-driven discipline Science-policy interface Scientific postures Scientific reflexivity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by ERAnet BiodivERsA project CONNECT, with support from the French Agence Nationale pour la Recherche, and by the project OPERAs FP7-ENV-2012-two-stage-308393.

Supplementary material

13280_2017_939_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (45 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 45 kb)

References

  1. Barnaud, C., and M. Antona. 2014. Deconstructing ecosystem services: Uncertainties and controversies around a socially constructed concept. Geoforum 56: 113–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boerema, A., A.J. Rebelo, M.B. Bodi, K.J. Esler, and P. Meire. 2017. Are ecosystem services adequately quantified? Journal of Applied Ecology 54: 358–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brooks, T.M., J.F. Lamoreux, and J. Soberón. 2014. IPBES ≠ IPCC. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 29: 543–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan, K.M.A., A.D. Guerry, P. Balvanera, S. Klain, T. Satterfield, X. Basurto, A. Bostrom, R. Chuenpagdee, et al. 2012. Where are cultural and social in ecosystem services? A framework for constructive engagement. BioScience 62: 744–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coreau, A., C. Nowak, and L. Mermet. 2013. L’expertise pour les politiques nationales de biodiversité en France: quelles stratégies face aux mutations en cours? VertigO 13: 2.Google Scholar
  6. Courchamp, F., J.A. Dunne, Y. Le Maho, R.M. May, C. Thébaud, and M.E. Hochberg. 2015. Fundamental ecology is fundamental. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 30: 9–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crouzat, E., B. Martín-López, F. Turkelboom, and S. Lavorel. 2016. Disentangling trade-offs and synergies around ecosystem services with the Influence Network Framework: Illustration from a consultative process over the French Alps. Ecology & Society 21: 32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies, K.K., K.T. Fisher, M.E. Dickson, S.F. Thrush, and R.Le. Heron. 2015. Improving ecosystem service frameworks to address wicked problems. Ecology and Society 20: 37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Díaz, S., S. Demissew, J. Carabias, C. Joly, M. Lonsdale, N. Ash, A. Larigauderie, J.R. Adhikari, et al. 2015. The IPBES Conceptual Framework—connecting nature and people. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14: 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Donner, S.D. 2014. Finding your place on the science–advocacy continuum: An editorial essay. Climatic Change 124: 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elias, N. 1956. Problems of involvement and detachment. The British Journal of Sociology 7: 226–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fernández, R.J. 2016. How to be a more effective environmental scientist in management and policy contexts. Environmental Science & Policy 64: 171–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fisher, J.A., and K. Brown. 2014. Ecosystem services concepts and approaches in conservation: Just a rhetorical tool? Ecological Economics 108: 257–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garrard, G.E., F. Fidler, B.C. Wintle, Y.E. Chee, and S.A. Bekessy. 2015. Beyond advocacy: Making space for conservation scientists in public debate. Conservation Letters 9: 208–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gieryn, T.F. 1983. Boundary-work and the demarcation of science from non-science: Strains and interests in professional ideologies of scientists. American Sociological Review 48: 781–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gómez-Baggethun, E., and M. Ruiz-Pérez. 2011. Economic valuation and the commodification of ecosystem services. Progress in Physical Geography 35: 613–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gorddard, R., M.J. Colloff, R.M. Wise, D. Ware, and M. Dunlop. 2016. Values, rules and knowledge: Adaptation as change in the decision context. Environmental Science & Policy 57: 60–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guerry, A.D., S. Polasky, J. Lubchenco, R. Chaplin-Kramer, G.C. Daily, R. Griffin, M. Ruckelshaus, I.J. Bateman, et al. 2015. Natural capital and ecosystem services informing decisions: From promise to practice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 112: 7348–7355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gupta, A. 2008. Transparency under scrutiny: Information disclosure in global environmental governance. Global Environmental Politics 8: 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gupta, A. 2010. Transparency in global environmental governance: A coming of age? Global Environmental Politics 10: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haines-Young, R., and M. Potschin. 2010. The links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. In Ecosystem ecology: A new synthesis, ed. D. Raffaelli, and C. Frid, 110–139. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hulme, P.E. 2014. Bridging the knowing-doing gap: Know-who, know-what, know-why, know-how and know-when. Journal of Applied Ecology 51: 1131–1136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jasanoff, S. 1990. The fifth branch: Scientific advisors as policymakers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Jax, K., D.N. Barton, K.M.A. Chan, R. de Groot, U. Doyle, U. Eser, C. Görg, E. Gómez-Baggethun, et al. 2013. Ecosystem services and ethics. Ecological Economics 93: 260–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kull, C.A., X. Arnauld de Sartre, and M. Castro-Larrañaga. 2015. The political ecology of ecosystem services. Geoforum 61: 122–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Latour, B., and S. Woolgar. 1979. Laboratory life: The construction of scientific facts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lavorel, S., K. Grigulis, P. Lamarque, M.-P. Colace, D. Garden, J. Girel, G. Pellet, and R. Douzet. 2011. Using plant functional traits to understand the landscape distribution of multiple ecosystem services. Journal of Ecology 99: 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Luck, G.W., K.M.A. Chan, U. Eser, E. Gómez-Baggethun, B. Matzdorf, B. Norton, and M.B. Potschin. 2012. Ethical considerations in on-ground applications of the ecosystem services concept. BioScience 62: 1020–1029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mace, G.M. 2014. Whose conservation? Science 345: 1558–1560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Martín-López, B., E. Gómez-Baggethun, M. García-Llorente, and C. Montes. 2014. Trade-offs across value-domains in ecosystem services assessment. Ecological Indicators 37: 220–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McKenzie, E., S. Posner, P. Tillmann, J.R. Bernhardt, K. Howard, and A. Rosenthal. 2014. Understanding the use of ecosystem service knowledge in decision making: lessons from international experiences of spatial planning. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32: 320–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pade-Khene, C., R. Luton, T. Jordaan, S. Hildbrand, C.G. Proches, and A. Sitshaluza. 2013. Complexity of stakeholder interaction in applied research. Ecology and Society 18: 13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pielke, R.A. 2007. The honest broker: Making sense of science in policy and politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Primmer, E., and E. Furman. 2012. Operationalising ecosystem service approaches for governance: Do measuring, mapping and valuing integrate sector-specific knowledge systems? Ecosystem Services 1: 85–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Raymond, C.M., G. Singh, K. Benessaiah, J.R. Bernhardt, J. Levine, H. Nelson, N.J. Turner, B. Norton, et al. 2013. Ecosystem services and beyond: Using multiple metaphors to understand human–environment relationships. BioScience 63: 536–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sandbrook, C., I.R. Scales, B. Vira, and W.M. Adams. 2011. Value plurality among conservation professionals. Conservation Biology 25: 285–294.Google Scholar
  37. Schulp, C.J., B. Burkhard, J. Maes, J. Van Vliet, and P.H. Verburg. 2014. Uncertainties in ecosystem service maps: A comparison on the European scale. PLoS ONE 9: e109643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stirling, A. 2010. Keep it complex. Nature 468: 1029–1031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sukhdev, P. 2009. Costing the earth. Nature 462: 277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tsoukas, H. 1997. The tyranny of light: The temptations and the paradoxes of the information society. Futures 29: 827–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Turnhout, E., S. Van Bommel, and M.N.C. Aarts. 2010. How participation creates citizens: Participatory governance as performative practice. Ecology and Society 15: 26–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Turnhout, E., M. Hisschemöller, and H. Eijsackers. 2007. Ecological indicators: Between the two fires of science and policy. Ecological Indicators 7: 215–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Turnhout, E., M. Stuiver, J. Klostermann, B. Harms, and C. Leeuwis. 2013. New roles of science in society: Different repertoires of knowledge brokering. Science & Public Policy (SPP) 40: 281–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. van den Hove, S. 2007. A rationale for science-policy interfaces. Futures 39: 807–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. van der Hel, S. 2016. New science for global sustainability? The institutionalisation of knowledge co-production in Future Earth. Environmental Science & Policy 61: 165–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wilhere, G.F. 2012. Inadvertent advocacy. Conservation Biology 26: 39–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Young, J.C., K.A. Waylen, S. Sarkki, S. Albon, I. Bainbridge, E. Balian, J. Davidson, D. Edwards, et al. 2014. Improving the science-policy dialogue to meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation: Having conversations rather than talking at one-another. Biodiversity and Conservation 23: 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (LECA), UMR 5553, CNRSUniversité Grenoble AlpesGrenoble Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Université Grenoble Alpes, IrsteaGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Fenner School of Environment and SocietyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  4. 4.Research Group Nature & SocietyResearch Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)BrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations