Field manual for participatory data collection on biophysical stock of ecosystem services

Authors Wilcock, S.; Dobbie, S.L.; Green, E.L.; Nicholass, A.; vanEetvelt, S.; Wagstaff, O.J.; Weyell, J.A.N.; Schreckenberg, K.; Hudson, M.D.; Eigenbrod, F.; Poppy, G.M.
Year of Publication 2016
Type of Publication Working Paper


If ecosystem services are to be managed to help alleviate poverty, then ecosystem service research must act to fill knowledge gaps and address data deficiencies. This manual presents a series of data-collection tools utilising indigenous knowledge to provide biophysical data via Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs). Systematically recording this knowledge can help to rapidly and cheaply fill data gaps, whilst also ensuring that local people are included as stakeholders in decision-making. This manual was developed drawing on the experiences of the ESPA-funded ASSETS project, investigating the links between ecosystem services, food security and nutritional status at the forest-agriculture interface. By applying the methods presented here, users will (in collaboration with local communities) be able to obtain information on ecosystem services including provisioning (e.g. timber, food), regulating (e.g. carbon storage, pollination) and cultural (e.g. recreation, education) services. The methods presented here should be of interest to researchers and practitioners seeking to create an evidence base to support ecosystem services-based decision-making in data deficient areas.