Ecosystem services assessment tools for African Biosphere Reserves: A review and user-informed classification

J. Huge*, A. J. Rochette, S. de Bethune, C. C. Parra Paitan, K. Vanderhaegen, T. Vandervelden, S. Van Passel, M. P. M. Vanhove, B. Verbist, D. Verheyen, T. Waas, I Janssens, L. Janssens de Bisthoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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While the concept of ecosystem services which links biodiversity to human wellbeing, is by now well-known, its translation into actual management decisions is still uneven. African Biosphere Reserves, which are to be living labs for sustainable development, embody the idea of synergies between people and nature. Gaining knowledge about the provision, the use and the trends of ecosystem services in these reserves is essential to ensure their global change-proof management. The diversity of rapidly evolving ecosystem services assessment tools requires a systematic and informed selection, in order to ensure that prospective tool users select the most adequate tool, aligned to their needs and context. Based on a Delphi survey of future tool users, and on a review of ecosystem services assessment tools, we propose guidance to users to select the most suited tool based on the context of African Biosphere Reserves, and on tool requirements regarding data input, necessary skills, outputs and types of ecosystem services addressed. The use of the Delphi survey and the focus on African Biosphere Reserves are new elements that contribute to the theory and practice of ecosystem services assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101079
Number of pages15
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Africa
  • Assessment tools
  • Biosphere Reserves
  • Delphi
  • Ecosystem services


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