Coordinating ecosystem service trade-offs to achieve win–win outcomes: A review of the approaches

Hua Zheng , Lijuan Wang , Tong Wu


Received January 30, 2019,Revised , Accepted February 28, 2019, Available online March 08, 2019

Volume ,2019,Pages 103-112

Ecosystem service (ES) trade-offs have been broadly recognized and studied over the past decade. However, how to coordinate the relationships among ES trade-offs to achieve win–win outcomes remains a considerable challenge for decision makers. Here, we summarize the current approaches applied to minimize ES trade-offs for win–wins and analyze the trade-offs among different ESs and their drivers. Based on a systematic review of the literature from 2005 to 2018, we identified 170 potentially relevant articles, 47 of which were selected for the review, recording 70 actual or potential trade-offs. Analysis of these case studies showed that trade-off pairs between provisioning services and regulating services/biodiversity accounted for 80% of total pairs. Furthermore, more than half of the ES trade-offs were driven by land use/land cover changes. Harvest and resource demand, natural resource management, and policy instruments were also among the main drivers. Four approaches to coordinate ES trade-offs were identified, including ecosystem, landscape-scale, multi-objective optimization, and policy intervention (and other) approaches. Based on the above, we recommend a rigorous understanding of the roles of different stakeholders, spatial scales of management, trade-off dynamics, and integrated implementation of diverse approaches to coordinate ES trade-offs in order to better achieve win–win outcomes.

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