Ecosystem
Management

  [Methodology ]

Methodology

UNEP’s Ecosystem Management Programme will work to transform the sector approach to environmental management and move towards an approach that integrates forests, land, freshwater, and coastal systems where they impact upon the overall deliver of ecosystem services. UNEP will work towards assisting countries and regions to:

  • Integrate an ecosystem approach into development and planning processes;
  • Acquire and improve the capacity to use ecosystem management tools;
  • Realign their environmental programmes;
  • Finance priority ecosystem services.

Using an ecosystem approach, natural resource managers can identify and analyse the drivers operating on an ecosystem and design appropriate actions. Once this analysis is complete, implementation may begin. Using this framework and with assistance from UNEP, authorities at local, national and regional levels will be able to launch assessments of their ecosystems. Successful implementation should involve four steps:

1. Making the case;
2. Generating knowledge;
3. Turning knowledge to action;
4. Monitoring, evaluation and feedback.

1. Making the case
This involves:

  • Conduct regional and national awareness-raising workshops on the concept of “place-based” ecosystem management and on ecosystem services, their interlinkages, and their relationship to human well-being;
  • Facilitate rapid assessment of the links between key ecosystem services at the national and regional levels;
  • Deliver accessible guides on the ecosystem approach directed at various groups of
  • stakeholders;
  • Disseminate key messages as widely as possible, particularly regarding the important links between ecosystem services and human well-being, and the drivers of ecosystem degradation.

2. Generating knowledge
Specifically, UNEP will:

  • Establish networks for data and information exchange on ecosystem service;
  • Facilitate or undertake ecosystem level assessments as needed;
  • Identify relevant ecosystem services and their relation to human well-being;
  • Identify the direct and indirect drivers of ecosystem change;
  • Develop plausible scenarios based on the impacts of direct and indirect drivers over time;
  • Build capacity to undertake economic valuation of ecosystem services.

3. Turning Knowledge to action
This step involves using place-based data and knowledge to:

  • Determine which services have priority;
  • Develop effective intervention strategies;
  • Ensure equitable access and use of ecosystem services by all stakeholders.

4. Monitoring, evaluation and feedback
To ensure the optimal delivery of ecosystem services, UNEP will:

  • Offer technical support for the development and review of indicators of ecosystem service delivery;
  • Facilitate review of the delivery of ecosystem services against established baselines;
  • Facilitate and build capacity to develop and implement feedback mechanisms into steps 1-3 above.