Modern day societies and economies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the continued erosion of the stocks and flows of essential ecosystem services. Thus, the management of complex socio-economic systems to effectively provide these essential services has become a global priority policy and academic research area. Understanding how underlying processes and functions contribute towards the provision of final ecosystem services can facilitate improved dissemination of credible, legitimate and salient information to decision-makers. This paper presents an ecosystem service value chain analysis framework that applies basic system dynamics modelling in the form of causal loop diagrams to facilitate an alternative analysis of ecosystem service value chains. A scoping application of the framework is applied to a case study for flood attenuation services in the Baviaanskloof catchment in South Africa. The framework enables the identification of forward linkages and ripple effects in individual value chains of final ecosystem services as well as the identification and assessment of challenges and opportunities within individual causal pathways. Ultimately, providing the potential to advance strategies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of final ecosystem service provision.
Ecological Economics – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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