New research from colleague Eva Roth and a substantial group of researchers from around the world asks how we can do better at including all aspects of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) in its valuation. This work comes out of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), established 5 years ago to ‘provide scientific information in response to requests from policy makers’ – now with 126 governments and the UN involved!

This more comprehensive and diverse approach to nature is sorely needed for moving forward with sustainable development. Through better understanding of diverse groups of stakeholders as to what nature actually provides them, we can better resolve conflicts over values and increase our understanding of how to interact with natural processes for greater – and more inclusive – social returns – such as co-management for marine mammals in the Arctic.

Here’s the overview (open access link, also above):

Pascual et al., Valuing nature’s contributions to people: the IPBES approach (2017), Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26-27: 7-16

“Nature is perceived and valued in starkly different and often conflicting ways. This paper presents the rationale for the inclusive valuation of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) in decision making, as well as broad methodological steps for doing so. While developed within the context of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), this approach is more widely applicable to initiatives at the knowledge–policy interface, which require a pluralistic approach to recognizing the diversity of values. We argue that transformative practices aiming at sustainable futures would benefit from embracing such diversity, which require recognizing and addressing power relationships across stakeholder groups that hold different values on human nature-relations and NCP.”