Comparing and mapping ecosystem service use across interest groups in the Upper Peace River Watershed
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Subjectbiodiversity; cultural ecosystem services; ecosystem services; hotspots; interest groups; participatory GIS
The ecosystem service (ES) approach to conservation normally uses economic or biophysical assessments for valuating nature's services. In contrast, even though ES are required for human well-being, the actual uses of services by differing interest groups are rarely considered, nor are intangible cultural ES. The aim of this research was to quantify different uses for 15 cultural and provisioning ES indicators across seven groups on a regional scale, as well assess spatial differences in ES across eight groups using participatory GIS. Results demonstrate that different interest groups use ES differently; in terms of ES type, frequency of use, as well as spatial location of ES use. In particular, this work highlights the importance of considering cultural ES (e.g. aesthetic/scenic, sense-of-place) during decision making processes. Spatial locations of ES hotspots were also shown to correspond with established areas of high biodiversity, both required for effective and legitimate decisions regarding land use.
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