Mark Everard; Ruth Waters
November 2013

Ecosystem services assessment: How to do one in practice

This document provides guidance on how to make an ecosystem services assessment.  It explains what ecosystem services are, why an ecosystem services assessment needs to be made, and how it can add impact to your work.  It addresses assessment of likely ecosystem service outcomes across a range of contexts, including:

  • development or management initiatives where there is a pre-determined approach, or set of potential approaches;
  • where novel options for place or scheme development are being explored; or
  • assessment of the ecosystem service outcomes of schemes or projects already completed.

This guide is intended to take you through the principal steps in preparing for and undertaking an ecosystem services assessment.  It is generic and flexible in nature, recognising that there are many types of development or management schemes ranging from localised habitat enhancements or planning determinations through to large-scale industrial or flood risk projects.

The guide provides generic information about the value of and the steps entailed in undertaking an ecosystem services assessment, drawing upon learning from a series of published ecosystem services case studies and providing references to further guidance and sources of information.