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Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: A SWOT analysis of the ecosystem services framework


  • Bull, J.W.
  • Jobstvogt, N.
  • Böhnke-Henrichs, A.
  • Mascarenhas, A.
  • Sitas, N.
  • Baulcomb, C.
  • Lambini, C.K.
  • Rawlins, M.
  • Baral, H.
  • Zähringer, J.
  • Carter-Silk, E.
  • Balzan, M.V.
  • Kenter, J.O.
  • Häyhä, T.
  • Petz, K.
  • Koss, R.


The ecosystem services concept (ES) is becoming a cornerstone of contemporary sustainability thought. Challenges with this concept and its applications are well documented, but have not yet been systematically assessed alongside strengths and external factors that influence uptake. Such an assessment could form the basis for improving ES thinking, further embedding it into environmental decisions and management.

Suggested Citation

  • Bull, J.W. & Jobstvogt, N. & Böhnke-Henrichs, A. & Mascarenhas, A. & Sitas, N. & Baulcomb, C. & Lambini, C.K. & Rawlins, M. & Baral, H. & Zähringer, J. & Carter-Silk, E. & Balzan, M.V. & Kenter, J.O, 2016. "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: A SWOT analysis of the ecosystem services framework," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 99-111.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:17:y:2016:i:c:p:99-111
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2015.11.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacobs, Sander & Burkhard, Benjamin & Van Daele, Toon & Staes, Jan & Schneiders, Anik, 2015. "‘The Matrix Reloaded’: A review of expert knowledge use for mapping ecosystem services," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 295(C), pages 21-30.
    2. Braat, Leon C. & de Groot, Rudolf, 2012. "The ecosystem services agenda:bridging the worlds of natural science and economics, conservation and development, and public and private policy," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 4-15.
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    4. Fisher, Brendan & Turner, R. Kerry & Morling, Paul, 2009. "Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 643-653, January.
    5. Edward B. Barbier, 2012. "Progress and Challenges in Valuing Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Services," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19.
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    7. Kenter, Jasper O. & O'Brien, Liz & Hockley, Neal & Ravenscroft, Neil & Fazey, Ioan & Irvine, Katherine N. & Reed, Mark S. & Christie, Michael & Brady, Emily & Bryce, Rosalind & Church, Andrew & Cooper, 2015. "What are shared and social values of ecosystems?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 86-99.
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    9. Jax, Kurt & Barton, David N. & Chan, Kai M.A. & de Groot, Rudolf & Doyle, Ulrike & Eser, Uta & Görg, Christoph & Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & Griewald, Yuliana & Haber, Wolfgang & Haines-Young, Roy & Heink, 2013. "Ecosystem services and ethics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 260-268.
    10. Jobstvogt, Niels & Watson, Verity & Kenter, Jasper O., 2014. "Looking below the surface: The cultural ecosystem service values of UK marine protected areas (MPAs)," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 97-110.
    11. Chan, Kai M.A. & Satterfield, Terre & Goldstein, Joshua, 2012. "Rethinking ecosystem services to better address and navigate cultural values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 8-18.
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    2. Cundill, Georgina & Bezerra, Joana Carlos & De Vos, Alta & Ntingana, Nokuthula, 2017. "Beyond benefit sharing: Place attachment and the importance of access to protected areas for surrounding communities," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 28(PB), pages 140-148.
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    6. Luca Marazzi & Steven Loiselle & Lucy G Anderson & Stephen Rocliffe & Debbie J Winton, 2020. "Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(8), pages 1-15, August.
    7. Chaudhary, Sunita & McGregor, Andrew & Houston, Donna & Chettri, Nakul, 2018. "Reprint of: Environmental justice and ecosystem services: A disaggregated analysis of community access to forest benefits in Nepal," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PB), pages 316-332.
    8. Schirpke, Uta & Marino, Davide & Marucci, Angelo & Palmieri, Margherita & Scolozzi, Rocco, 2017. "Operationalising ecosystem services for effective management of protected areas: Experiences and challenges," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 28(PA), pages 105-114.
    9. Ranacher, L. & Lähtinen, K. & Järvinen, E. & Toppinen, A., 2017. "Perceptions of the general public on forest sector responsibility: A survey related to ecosystem services and forest sector business impacts in four European countries," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 180-189.
    10. Keenan, Rodney J. & Pozza, Greg & Fitzsimons, James A., 2019. "Ecosystem services in environmental policy: Barriers and opportunities for increased adoption," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-1.
    11. Orchard-Webb, Johanne & Kenter, Jasper O. & Bryce, Ros & Church, Andrew, 2016. "Deliberative Democratic Monetary Valuation to implement the Ecosystem Approach," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 308-318.
    12. Tahseen, Samiha & Karney, Bryan, 2017. "Opportunities for increased hydropower diversion at Niagara: An sSWOT analysis," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 757-770.
    13. Carter Berry, Z. & Jones, Kelly W. & Gomez Aguilar, Leon Rodrigo & Congalton, Russell G. & Holwerda, Friso & Kolka, Randall & Looker, Nathaniel & Lopez Ramirez, Sergio Miguel & Manson, Robert & Mayer,, 2020. "Evaluating ecosystem service trade-offs along a land-use intensification gradient in central Veracruz, Mexico," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    14. Chaudhary, Sunita & McGregor, Andrew & Houston, Donna & Chettri, Nakul, 2019. "Spiritual enrichment or ecological protection?: A multi-scale analysis of cultural ecosystem services at the Mai Pokhari, a Ramsar site of Nepal," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    15. Larson, Lincoln R. & Keith, Samuel J. & Fernandez, Mariela & Hallo, Jeffrey C. & Shafer, C. Scott & Jennings, Viniece, 2016. "Ecosystem services and urban greenways: What's the public's perspective?," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 22(PA), pages 111-116.
    16. Uroš Kramar & Dejan Dragan & Darja Topolšek, 2019. "The Holistic Approach to Urban Mobility Planning with a Modified Focus Group, SWOT, and Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchical Process," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(23), pages 1-29, November.
    17. Baral, Himlal & Guariguata, Manuel R. & Keenan, Rodney J., 2016. "A proposed framework for assessing ecosystem goods and services from planted forests," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 22(PB), pages 260-268.
    18. Bélisle, Annie Claude & Wapachee, Alice & Asselin, Hugo, 2021. "From landscape practices to ecosystem services: Landscape valuation in Indigenous contexts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
    19. Michael Manton & Evaldas Makrickas & Piotr Banaszuk & Aleksander Kołos & Andrzej Kamocki & Mateusz Grygoruk & Marta Stachowicz & Leonas Jarašius & Nerijus Zableckis & Jūratė Sendžikaitė & Jan Peters &, 2021. "Assessment and Spatial Planning for Peatland Conservation and Restoration: Europe’s Trans-Border Neman River Basin as a Case Study," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(2), pages 1-27, February.
    20. Murali, Ranjini & Suryawanshi, Kulbushansingh & Redpath, Stephen & Nagendra, Harini & Mishra, Charudutt, 2019. "Changing use of ecosystem services along a rural-urban continuum in the Indian Trans-Himalayas," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).

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