This family of tools is used to develop a shared understanding of policy objectives and outcomes, and contributes to identifying problems and opportunities. Those aims are achieved by supporting discussion and deliberation, for example on the implications of new knowledge and data for policy, and on the effectiveness of existing and potential institutions and policy settings. Examples include stakeholder consultation, field observation, focused group discussion, mass media communication, and cultural mapping.

A Rapid Forest Assessment Method for Multiparty Monitoring Across Landscapes

The rapid forest assessment (RFA) approach is a collaborative natural resource management strategy to monitor forests by engaging stakeholders and citizen scientists in data collection. The RFA approach was designed to simplify the process of forest monitoring, allowing for wider geographic and temporal data collection while reducing the resources required for adaptive land management projects. RFA programs also educate stakeholders and citizens on issues related to forest management and restoration.

Multi-scale integrated models of ecosystem services (MIMES)

MIMES is an ecosystem-based management tool. It integrates georeferenced datasets, with diverse information sources on human and natural systems to create systems models. These systems models assess the value of ecosystem services at different spatial levels under different future scenarios. These are bespoke models for particular cases.

The MIMES approach has been applied in New Zealand and Massachusetts. It is also under development for use by the Ministry of Fisheries in Cambodia in managing the Tonle Sap Lake. 

Ecosystem Service Assessment Support Tool

The Ecosystem Service Assessment Support Tool (ESAST) has been designed to provide guidance to users who are new to ecosystem services and need assistance in designing an effective assessment process. It can also assist experienced users in providing detailed information about different concepts, methodologies and links to case study information, or give structured access to information maintained within and outside of Oppla (, an online platform where the latest thinking on ecosystem services, natural capital and nature-based solutions is brought together.

Deliberative Valuation

Deliberative valuation is an interactive valuation method, which brings different actors (policy-makers, stakeholders and/or citizens) to form value judgements (e.g. preferences for ecosystem services) in an open dialogue with each other. The main advantage of deliberative valuation is that unlike survey-based instruments, it allows consideration of ethical beliefs, moral commitments and social norms beyond individual and collective utility.

Understanding the spatial relationships that link social communities to their ecosystems and biophysical landscapes

The aim of this resource is contributing a theoretical and methodological approach to the cultural and social valuation method section of the online catalogue. The analysis of socio-spatial relationships is suggested as a suitable conceptual basis to fully recognise the voices and values of a wider diversity of people. The resource follows an anthropological perspective in accordance with the work of Henri Lefebvre (in the volume The Production of Space [1991]).

EKLIPSE - Knowledge and Learning Mechanism on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

In light of the ongoing loss of biodiversity, there is a need to make the most of the huge amount of knowledge available on biodiversity and ecosystem services to help decision-makers at all scales make better decisions for our environment. This is the main motivation behind the H2020 funded EKLIPSE project (

Natuurwaardeverkenner (Nature Value Explorer)

The nature value explorer is a free webbased tool that makes it possible to calculate the impact of a project on ecosystem services in a qualitative, biophysical and monetary way. It quickly assesses the impact and makes it possible to compare scenarios and discuss with stakeholders. The tool is spatially explicit for Flanders, Belgium. The user draws the case study area on a map and draws the different measures that are planned in the scenario. The tool collects the necessary input data from national maps and calculates the supply and value of different ecosystem services.