SNAPP TEAM:Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity
What key changes to existing tools for documenting, measuring, and valuing ecosystem services will boost their use in Key Biodiversity Areas and strengthen the safeguard of these important sites?

Demand for natural resources to fuel development and economic growth is placing increasing pressure on the planet’s remaining important biodiverse areas. To protect these critical habitats, a new global standard for the identification of significantly biodiverse sites, called Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), was developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With the emergence of KBAs, there is an urgent need to compile existing ecosystem service assessments to provide updated information on the benefits to human well-being of safeguarding important biodiversity sites.


OUR APPROACH: This group aims to integrate the large body of existing work on ecosystem service assessment and the new global standard for identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), which will provide a much needed synthesis of the human well-being benefits associated with protecting globally important biodiversity sites.

Team Status: COMPLETED
Team Critical Challenge: Social Innovations

Convening with the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

In January 2018, team members met with IUCN representatives in Vilm, Germany to discuss and complete the guidance document “Tools for measuring, modeling, and valuing ecosystem services provided by Key Biodiversity Areas, World Heritage Sites, and Protected Areas.” The report aims to help practitioners select the most appropriate ecosystem service assessment tool by providing a set of decision trees. The decision trees are designed to guide practitioners’ tool selection based on assessment goals, the type of information needed, and the resources and time available for the assessment.


Reporting on Conservation: Key Biodiversity Areas and Ecosystem Services

In November 2017, the group held a workshop in Quebec City, Canada that included scientists, Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial protected area and conservation agencies, experts in Aboriginal and community land use planning, non-governmental conservation experts, and land stewardship experts. Participants explored the potential applications of the global KBA Standard for achieving Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets and developed a plan for a national coordination body to complete the identification of KBAs in Canada.



“At the global level, we are undertaking an analysis of ecosystem services delivered by the most important sites for biodiversity, enabling the standardized documentation of KBA ecosystem services by individuals and groups identifying these sties, and developing guidance for practitioners on how existing analysis tools can be used to measure, model and value ecosystem services of sites.”

-Penny Langhammer, Team Leader

Key Products
IUCN Report Guides Practitioners in Selecting Tools for Ecosystem Services Assessment

This article from IUCN presents the results of the workshop in Quebec City, focusing on the ecosystem service assessment tools that this team identified during their research.

Tools for measuring, modelling, and valuing ecosystem services

This guide builds on existing reviews of ecosystem service assessment tools, but has an explicit focus on assessing ecosystem services for sites of importance for biodiversity and nature conservation.

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Leah Gerber
Arizona State University
Penny Langhammer
Global Wildlife Conservation
Stephen Woodley
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Nirmal Bhagabati
World Wildlife Fund
Thomas Brooks
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Stuart Butchart
BirdLife International
Kai Chan
University of British Columbia
Craig Groves
Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP)
Lisa Mandle
Stanford University
Jenny Merriman
BirdLife International
Mark Mulligan
King's College London
Rachel Neugarten
Conservation International
Kelvin Peh
University of Southampton
Justina Ray
Wildlife Conservation Society
James Watson
Wildlife Conservation Society
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