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.

Human Development Index

The Human Development Report Office of UNDP calculates the annual Human Development Index (HDI) and uses it to rank countries into four tiers of human development. HDI is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

Hedonic Property Pricing

Hedonic Property Pricing is the study of multi-correlation between environmental characteristics of a good and its sales price. It can be used to estimate monetary values for ecosystem services that directly affect amenities of properties which in turn are reflected in property prices.

Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME) evaluations

PAME evaluations can be defined as “the assessment of how well protected areas are being managed – primarily the extent to which management is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives" (Hockings et al. 2006). Since the 1990s, a range of methods have been developed and applied to assess PAME at both site and system levels. Most PAME methodologies are built up around the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) framework for protected area management.

Global Forest Watch

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an online platform that provides data and tools for monitoring forests. By harnessing cutting-edge technology, GFW allows anyone to access near real-time information about where and how forests are changing around the world. GFW is a partnership convened by the World Resources Institute.

ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES)

The ARIES modelling framework, begun in 2007 by a coalition of university, NGO, and governmental researchers, aims to address several scientific and modelling challenges in ecosystem services research and application. ARIES is an open-source technology capable of selecting and running models to quantify and map all aspects of ecosystem service provision, including biophysical generation, flow and extraction by sinks and beneficiaries.

Bayesian Belief Networks

A Bayesian Belief Network is a framework that uses a graphical representation to show the flow of information in a system. It has nodes or vertices to represent variables which can include observed quantities, latent (unobserved) quantities, expert opinion, model outputs, or unknown parameters. There are links or edges joining parent nodes to child nodes. The difference between this and other similar frameworks is in the use of conditional probabilities to express the relationships between nodes.

Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST)

A suite of open-source software models to map and value ecosystem services. These are GIS-based spatial models that quantitatively analyse spatial changes in ecosystem services. They can be used to assess alternative management options by measuring the trade-offs.

Using maps as information sources and producing maps as outputs, they return results in either biophysical or economic terms. The models are based on production functions that define how changes in an ecosystem’s structure and function affects the flows and values of ecosystem services across a land- or a seascape.