Tools in this family synthesise and assess knowledge relative to status, function, and drivers of nature, nature’s contributions to people, human well-being, and the connections between these. These include scenarios, management effectiveness evaluations, quantitative modelling, cost–benefit analysis, and trade-off analysis.

WOCAT Database for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) technologies

WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) is an online database for sustainable land management (SLM) tools and experiences. It is a global open-access database for sustainable land management (SLM) practices for soil and water conservation. It allows searching for tools and case studies from all over the world, according to different criteria (e.g. geographic scope, target group, thematic issue, etc.).

Acting on Ecosystem Service Opportunities

The document contains a detailed guide for choosing an economic instrument for conservation and for sustainable local development. The focus is on involving communities and enhancing their stewardship role. The guidelines demonstrate how to identify opportunities to use economic instruments by considering four key economic principles and subsequently assisting in designing and implementing the selected instruments.

Time-Use Studies

Time use study is an innovation of the conventional stated preference techniques, in particular taken from the contingent valuation approach. In this case, the payment vehicle is expressed in labour hours rather than monetary units (use in the classical willingness to pay studies). Willingness to give up time (WTT) creates a hypothetical scenario using surveys to estimate the value of ecosystem services by directly asking people how much time they would willing to invest for a change in the quantity or quality of a given ecosystem service or conservation plan.

Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation

This tool provides 1) a conceptual framework that sheds light on the different ecological and social factors that shape socio-cultural values, 2) an overview of quantitative and qualitative methods to assess socio-cultural values, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, and 3) a framework to integrate socio-cultural ecosystem service assessments with ecological and economic assessments.

Travel Cost Valuation

The travel cost method is based on the observation that recreational services can only be realised through physical access to nature. This implies that individuals seeking to enjoy the service will need to spend resources (time and money) to travel to the site. The travel activity is a reflection of the use value this service has to people.

Mitigation Cost-Based Evaluation

Mitigation cost-based valuation methods are a group of ’exchange-based’ techniques that use the cost of actual measures to maintain ecosystem service provision as a proxy for the value of avoiding, mitigating or restoring the loss of services ecosystems provide. As costs are estimated based on observable marketprices it is a group of methods that is also accepted in guidelines on experimental ecosystem accounting (EEA) within the system for economic and environmental accounting (SEEA). Mitigation cost-based valuation methods are associated with steps of the mitigation hierarchy.

Photo-Elicitation Method

This method aims to translate people’s visual experiences and perceptions of landscapes in terms of ecosystem services. It has been particularly used to explore how landscape multi-functionality (defined as the capacity of ecosystems to provide ecosystem services to society) is related to public perceptions toward landscapes and ecosystem services. This is based on the idea that visual stimuli could be understood as a socially shared communication channel, providing the potential to identify and analyse social perceptions of ecosystem services.

Ecoplan Quickscan

The QuickScan summarises how much ecosystem services a particular area delivers (in biophysical units) and what values are associated with it (in monetary terms). The QuickScan was initially developed to make the impact of scenarios - that were calculated with the ECOPLAN-SE (Scenario Evaluator) – insightful and comparable (e.g. results per unit area). In order to assess whether an area delivers little or plenty of certain services, is it is also useful to be able to compare to other areas.