A Collaborative Approach for Scoping Ecosystem Services with Stakeholders: The Case of Arrábida Natural Park

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This paper presents an innovative approach for conducting collaborative scoping processes aiming to elicit multiple values of ecosystem services. The proposed methodology rests on three steps combining different participatory tools that promote a comprehensive examination of the perceptions hold by relevant stakeholder groups. The first step consists of an institutional and stakeholder analysis developed in the study area. The second includes a participatory workshop, where a sequence of scoping exercises is conducted with the active collaboration of the invited stakeholders. The final step aims to validate scoping results and develop dependency networks between organizations and the identified ecosystem services. The approach was tested in the Arrábida Natural Park, a marine and coastal protected area in Portugal. Invited participants were able to identify an extensive list of ecosystem services in the natural area, establish linkages between those services and human wellbeing, identify drivers of change and perform a preliminary screening of the associated ecological, social, and economic values. The case study evaluation provided positive feedback on the usefulness of the approach, which advances the existing set of methods for participatory identification of ecosystem services and sets the scene for involvement of stakeholder groups in assessment and management processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-342
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Collaborative scoping
  • Identification of ecosystem services
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Management of protected areas


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