Ecosystem services and natural resources of the north – sustainability, values and trade-offs
Capacity for ecosystem services from a boreal forest – conservation for biodiversity, carbon storage and other ecosystem services of the protected Trillemarka forest in Norway. An application of the UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) – E
Authors: Bjart Holtsmark, Per Arild Garnaasjordet, Kristine Grimsrud, Erik Framstad, Iulie Aslaksen
Abstract: Forests provide many types of ecosystem services, including supportive services of ecological functions, carbon storage, timber production, and recreation. Biodiversity is the basis for ecosystem services, to a different extent for various types of services. Actually there is a basket of different ecosystem services, and the crucial policy issue is the selection of possible baskets both now and in the future. There must be made a trade-off between the different types of service, as some can be jointly produced while others represent a conflict of interest. The paper illustrates the use of different ecosystem services from boreal forests with large potential for carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services, with a case study from a protected forest area in Norway. We analyze the conflict and synergy between timber production and carbon storage in a hundred years perspective, and the situation in terms of biodiversity and potential use for recreation is discussed.
Soil agrarian systems under intensification: changing values and livelihoods in Navarra, Spain
Authors: Amaia Albizua, Unai Pascual, Esteve Corbera
Abstract: This paper explores qualitative perceptions of ecosystem services and the connections between such services and human wellbeing through an inductive process, using the case of an agricultural system under transformation through irrigation in Navarra, northern Spain. We identify which livelihood variables and production models influence perceptions of ecosystem services among different stakeholders including landowners and farmers and we analyse if agricultural intensification translates into significantly different perspectives on ecosystem services, and their related benefits. We finally discuss the relationship between the qualitative valuation of ecosystem services, farmers’ livelihoods and wellbeing and draw implications for agricultural and rural development policies.
‘An assessment of the Arctic Biodiversity with the GLOBIO model’ - Modelling biodiversity to assess the contribution of human induced threats and test the impact of potential policy measures that aim to reduce biodiversity loss.
Authors: Wilbert van Rooij
Abstract: A pilot study of the assessment of human impact factors on Arctic biodiversity is carried out with the GLOBIO model as part of the Economy of the North project. This model is developed by Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and is used to calculate the contribution of 5 pressures on the loss of biodiversity. The context of the analysis, which starts with detailed data from Norway, is to relate environmental change and ecological impacts directly to human activities, in order to strengthen the integrated knowledge basis for sustainable development. The contribution of pressures in the arctic is different in comparison to the impact in the rest of the world. Climate change will also increase the pressure caused by land use change. Results of the model can be used to select, test and prioritize policy measures that are likely to have a positive impact on the reduction of biodiversity loss.
The relevance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting in the Barents Region
Authors: Adrian Braun
Abstract: This paper examines the relevance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the framework of metal mining operations in the Barents region, located in the most northern latitudes of Europe. A fragile ecosystem and areas with comparatively high population require that mining companies meet their ecological and social responsibilities in the European Arctic. The analysis encompasses four metal mining enterprises in the Barents region and their specific approaches to implement CSR into the corporate strategy. This includes reporting, auditing and accounting of diverse CSR practices. Particularly, reporting and policy documents of the chosen case studies enable the analysis of CSR relevance in the mining sector and provide a comprehensive portrayal about CSR standards and guidelines that are applicable. Additionally, the analysis reveals stakeholder groups, affected by the companies; including local communities, employees, governmental actors, customers and NGO´s.
Underlying norms and ethics regarding sustainable use and distribution of resources in the Arctic
Authors: Judith Klostermann
Abstract: In the Arctic a pattern similar to that in other places in the world is developing: a remote area, sparsely populated, with lucrative underground resources; and nation states assuming that development of those resources is also in the interest of the local population. No one knows what the long term consequences of different courses of action are. Next to knowing more about the ‘hardware’ of the Arctic like fossil fuel prospecting we also need to know more about the ‘software’ that is governing the choices in this difficult debate. What are the underlying norms in the institutional frameworks used in the Arctic? For this analysis we develop a framework based on the literature regarding the ethics of sustainable resource use. Based on the framework a set of codes is developed with which formal documents are analysed on the use of criteria from different discourses.
Interrogating Payments for Ecosystem Services on Intrinsic Motivations for Conservation
Unraveling the effects of payments for ecosystem services on intrinsic motivations for collective action
Authors: Estelle Midler, Unai Pascual, Adam Drucker, Ulf Narloch, Jose Luis Soto
Abstract: This paper addresses the differential impacts on decisions towards collective action of payments for ecosystem services where individual and collective rewards are conditional on a minimum collective conservation level being achieved. Interactions between the different reward types, farmers’ social preferences and communication are identified. A field game experiment is conducted with Andean farmers in Peru and framed around their decisions to conserve agrobiodiversity. Results indicate that PES can be effective in motivating collective action. Additionally, individual rewards are likely to be superior to collective ones and less sensitive to the environment in which they are implemented. Both types of rewards have a smaller impact on farmers who are already unconditionally cooperative, indicating a crowding effect of external rewards on intrinsic motivations towards cooperation. We also find that collective rewards may have a stronger positive impact in contexts where communication and deliberation about collective action is possible.
PES and crowding-out effects: A framed forest experiment in Tanzania
Authors: Øyvind Handberg, Arild Angelsen
Abstract: The paper presents findings from framed field experiments conducted in Tanzania. The experiments have field context in sample, task, commodity and setting. The participants’ payoffs depend on the number of trees harvested. Four levels of individual PES are tested in a between-group design: no (0%), low (20%), medium (60%) and full (100%) PES.
Results indicate that low PES has a weak negative effect on harvest rates (c. 15% lower harvest rates than no PES), while medium and full PES have clear negative effects on harvest rates (c. -39% and -82%). Harvest rates in the treatments are significantly different from each other. The results do not support the “crowding out of intrinsic motivation hypothesis”. If any, a “crowding in” effect is present, as no and low PES are theoretical equivalents for a selfish payoff-maximiser. Increasing payments have clear negative effects on harvest rates: pay little, get little; pay more, get more.
Motivation crowding-out potential and community resource conflicts in payments for biodiversity conservation: evidence from Chiapas, Mexico
Authors: Sébastien Costedoat, Esteve Corbera, Driss Ezzine De Blas
Abstract: Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs have emerged as contract-based conservation instruments. The introduction of these incentives can undermine collective action, eventually creating or exacerbating conflicts regarding common resources management. We investigate how household-based land management practices and internal forest governance processes have been re-crafted in two communities participating in a program of payments for biodiversity conservation in Mexico. We rely on interviews with participants in both communities, who develop conservation activities in both family-owned and collective land plots. We also rely on focus groups with non-participants to visualize the effectiveness and legitimacy of PES benefit-sharing. Our data suggests that community-based forest governance changes are associated with new forms of collective organization that further increase the dependence to external support. Changes in this regard are explained by the political and economic divisions characterizing relations between and within PES eligible and non-eligible households.
The divisive effect of a weight based waste fee on motivation and behavior.
Authors: Marit H. Heller, Arild Vatn
Abstract: To better understand under what conditions economic incentives may or may not promote environmental friendly behavior, the aim of this study has been to expand our insights concerning the interactions between institutional and individual factors, including the distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The analysis is based on a case study from a Norwegian municipality Ulstein that introduced and later terminated a differentiated waste fee. The differentiation was based on the amount of residual waste each household produced. The theoretical framework included consists of two theories; self-determination theory and classical institutional economics. The results confirms the important role of moral norms and indicates that the stronger norms are integrated the less relevant it appears to be to follow other logics presented, in this case to save costs. The analysis also suggests that the key factor that predicts the choice of logic is how autonomous you feel in your choices.
Uncovering the value of Ecosystem Services
Economic experiments for collective action in Kyrgyzstan: Implications for Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)
Authors: Vijay Kolinjivadi
Abstract: The scholarship and empirical application of ‘payment for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes has tended to focus on contract design and conditionality of payments rather than fundamentally examining whether incentives do indeed influence behaviour in desired ways. In this paper, a set of incentive framed treatments are introduced to existing institutions promoting otherwise unpaid collective action in order to explore the effects of incentive provision on the propensity to participate in the maintenance of collectively owned irrigation canals. The experiments take place in Kyrgyzstan, where the first PES in the region is being piloted. We reveal the close interplay between the framing of incentives, the influence of village leaders mobilizing collective activity and social norms of reciprocity, trust and enforcement associated with village leaders mobilizing collective work. Each framed experiment exhibits a unique configuration of ‘I’ ‘We’ and other regarding rationalities, providing useful implications for this new frontier of PES implementation.
Farmers’ perceived cost of land use restrictions
Authors: Sebastien Lizin, Steven Van Passel, eloi schreurs
Abstract: This paper reports on the findings from discrete choice experiments designed to estimate farmers’ perceived costs of land use restrictions, i.e. crop restrictions, fertilizing restrictions, and usage restrictions, as opposed to having no such restrictions. To this end, hypothetical land purchasing decisions were simulated based on the information about productivity, lot size, distance to other land, driving time to home, land use restrictions, and price. Farmers from the Campine region (Belgium) were invited to participate in the survey as the agricultural land in this region still faces the effects of historical heavy metal contamination resulting in crop restrictions. The results from an error components logit and random parameter logit show that the average in-sample farmer is most averse towards fertilizing restrictions of all land use restrictions under study and that of all attributes land use restrictions are the most important factor in influencing farmers’ purchasing decisions.
Using Water Footprint and Valuation tools to support Reciprocal Watershed Agreements
Authors: Samuel Vionnet, Phil Covell, Jan Cassin, Nigel Asquith
Abstract: Worldwide water issues have been largely mediatized in the past few years. We observed that despite the in-crease of initiatives and tools in the field of water management, synergies between stakeholders are required to allow transformations to happen. This project aims at linking three existing tools that were rarely used together. The tools are: water footprint, water valuation (ecosystem services valuation) and reciprocal water-shed agreements. A case study was developed in Santa Cruz (Bolivia). We were able to calculate the water footprint for soybean and beef farmers and to value this ecosystem service provided by forests. Values ranged from 0.01 to 0.07 for rainfall and from 0.2 to 3 USD/m3 for freshwater. Those results were used to test scenarios of the impact of deforestation, highlighting quantitatively the relationship between stakeholders. This type of analysis has the potential to play an important role into the implementation of reciprocal watershed agreements.
Factors influencing payment levels in Payments for Ecosystem Services: evidence from a meta-analysis of water schemes in Latin America
Abstract: PES schemes are receiving great attention, while practical examples continue to be implemented worldwide. We carry out a meta-analysis of PES literature, searching to identify what factors determine payment levels and looking separately at buyers and sellers. A collection of 310 distinct payment transactions obtained from 40 PES schemes in ten Latin American countries was modelled using mixed linear models. Preliminary results suggest some interesting insights. For example, for both buyers and sellers, payments levels are higher when multiple services are the object of transaction, and when sellers engage in more than one type of action. The presence of intermediaries affects buyers’ payments but not sellers’ receipts. Further research will involve developing ‘extended’ models with a larger set of covariates and discussing results in the context of current debates on PES conceptualization.
Ecosystem services: debating, valuing, preserving and providing
Collaborative scoping of ecosystem services in marine and coastal protected areas: The case of Arrábida Natural Park
Authors: Rita Lopes, Nuno Videira
Abstract: With the widespread recognition of the importance of Ecosystem Services (ES), new approaches are needed to promote integration of stakeholders’ perceptions on services provided by ecosystems. An innovative methodology is presented for collaborative scoping of ES in protected areas. This work emerged from a broader conceptual framework for valuing ES through a participatory and integrated platform with three phases: “setting the scene”, “deepen understanding” and “value articulation”. The paper addresses the implementation of the first phase through a participatory workshop. A stakeholder group was invited to collaboratively map the most important ES in the Arrábida Natural Park in Portugal, current threats and linkages with human wellbeing and the social, ecological and economic importance of the identified services. Results are analyzed in relation to the potential of the proposed participatory approach in fostering the production and integration of knowledge on ES values, as an input for policy and decision-making processes.
Used to highlight social interdependencies among people, could the ES concept foster concerted management of natural resources?
Authors: Cécile Barnaud
Abstract: The governance of ecosystem services (ES) is currently mainly thought in terms of market-based or state-based instruments. Only few authors consider governance mechanisms based on collective action among local users and managers of resources. And yet, trade-offs among ES can be seen as social trade-offs among diverse people with competing claims, and therefore as social choices that need to be made in an explicit and concerted way. This paper questions the theoretical and practical relevance of concerted and collective action for the management of ES. To do so, we suggest a framework that stresses social interdependencies underlying ES dynamics (between providers and beneficiaries, among beneficiaries and among providers of ES). We focus on social interdependencies because increased awareness of being interdependent is considered as a necessary step towards collective action. Used to highlight social interdependencies among people, could the ES concept foster concerted management of natural resources?
Strengthening conceptual links between ecosystem services and sustainability
Authors: Matthias Schröter, Alexander Van Oudenhoven, Anne Böhnke-Henrichs, Klara Helene Stumpf, Jacqueline Loos, Bas Amelung
Abstract: Sustainability and ecosystem services are scientific concepts that are increasingly being used to describe, analyse and guide the relationship between humans and the environment. Yet, current ecosystem service assessments tend to ignore the explicit consideration of basic sustainability principles. We provide an overview of two conceptual links between both concepts. First, the merits of the ecosystem service concept to achieve sustainability, and, second, the incorporation of sustainability principles within the ecosystem service concept. Ecosystem service assessments can analyse appropriate ecological scales of ecosystem use, and macro-level sustainability of a region. Furthermore, allocative efficiency can be improved through monetary valuation of ecosystem services. In turn, sustainability principles, such as long-term continuance of ecosystems, renewability and inter- and intragenerational justice, need to be stronger incorporated in the ecosystem service concept. We suggest a ‘conditional definition’ of ecosystem services which includes sustainability principles. This emphasizes the normative character of the ecosystem service concept.
Environmental Justice Conflicts and the Ecosystem Service Cascade: further developing the metaphor to accommodate real world challenges
Authors: Joachim H. Spangenberg
Abstract: Environmental justice conflicts emerge when ecosystem services (ESS) are defined, mobilised and appropriated. However, the social processes underlying these steps are rarely taken into account in ESS analysis, thus risking to turn ESS analysis into a legitimation science for prevailing, power based use patterns. The paper uses an revised version of the ESS cascade to integrate social processes, and uses several cases to illustrate the role of use value attribution, ecosystem service potential mobilisation and ESS appropriation for environmental justice conflicts. Doing so can help to avoid misguided advice and avoid several fallacies inherent to the current use of ESS analysis. Early analysis may contribute to avoiding conflicts, but at least will make the policy dimension behind them obvious, and accessible to political solutions.
3D versus 2D: The relevance of presentation media for valuing an Alpine landscape
Authors: Michael Getzner, Barbara Färber, Claudia Yamu
Abstract: In order to value (hypothetical) landscape transformations, survey respondents are usually presented pictures of diverse landscapes in order to visualize differences in the landscape appearance. In this paper, we present a class-room experiment ascertaining potential differences, of 2D versus 3D presentations of landscape changes. The landscape to be valued was a typical alpine pasture in the Austrian Alps. Respondents were divided into two groups; one was presented manipulated pictures (2D), the other one was equipped with 3D glasses and asked for their perception of landscape changes in the spatial simulation lab. It turns out that significant differences between the two groups could be detected; respondents did announce different trip frequencies, i.e. respondents in the 3D group stated a higher frequency of trips given compared to the 2D group. The study thus provides some indication that the mode of presentation (2D vs. 3D) significantly affects the economic valuation of landscape changes.
The efficiency of the public expenditure on the environment: A dynamic data envelopment analysis
Authors: Marta Meleddu, Manuela Pulina
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyse the efficiency of public spending on the environment. Various categories of public expenditure are identified, namely: air and water, energy and biodiversity. Each category of expenditure has an outcome, that may be controlled through available indicators. Data are based on the European system of national and regional accounts allowing for homogeneous comparisons. A dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied by employing a panel of 21 decision-making units (i.e. the Italian regions) for the time span 2004 – 2011. In times of economic turmoil, the overall performance of the public intervention in Italy has increased with respect to the pre-crisis period, particularly on the energy sector that has detected an outstanding positive variation in the total factor productivity, mostly driven by a frontier shift experienced in many regions in the North of the country.
Economic valuation of land use change: farming and forestry in Flanders
Authors: Wouter Van Reeth, Lieven De Smet, Toon Spanhove, Steven Broekx, Peter Van Gossum, Leo De Nocker, Kris Vandekerkhove
Abstract: When faced with the choice to allocate open space to farming or sustainable forestry, private landowners try to maximize their private benefits of marketed ecosystem services. The objective of our study is to investigate for the densely populated and urbanized region of Flanders to what extent the inclusion of non-marketed ecosystem services would alter the land use decisions by private landowners in favour of sustainable forestry.
We map the economic value of food and timber production, global climate regulation and recreation under two alternative scenarios, using spatial data about soil characteristics, land cover, land use regulations, demography and other socio-economic parameters. The aggregated valuation maps indicate where and to what extent the net social benefits of sustainable forestry outweigh those of current agricultural land use. However, the current institutional setting does not provide the appropriate incentives to motivate private land users to shift their land use to sustainable forestry.
The economic insurance value of wild pollinators in almond orchards
Authors: Yuki Henselek, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Stefan Baumgärtner
Abstract: Biodiversity provides an economic insurance value against the uncertain provision of ecosystem services for risk-averse economic agents. For pollination services, we determine the economic insurance value of wild pollinators in almond orchards for a risk-averse farmer. We develop an ecological-economic model to determine the risk premium and insurance value of wild pollinators in general, and employ empirical data of flower visits of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and wild pollinators such as several wild bee species (e.g., Andrena spp., Osmia spp.) and hover flies (Syrphidae) to almond trees in California. We predict a positive risk premium and insurance value because several wild pollinators, in contrast to the European Honeybee, forage even under inclement weather conditions. This result should be taken into account when deciding on how much to invest in the conservation of wild pollinators. Additionally, this model can be applied to other ecosystem services and supports an increase in biodiversity conservation.
Opportunities and Challenges for Mainstreaming the Ecosystem Services Concept in the Multi-level Policy Making within the EU
Authors: Christian Schleyer, Jennifer Hauck, Christoph Görg, Klara Winkler
Abstract: Mainstreaming the ecosystem services (ES) concept in EU policy making comes along with great expectations to improve environmental policy. For most non-environmental policies, however, mainstreaming has, if at all, just begun. The article addresses three major challenges: the need for vertical and horizontal policy integration, and stakeholder involvement in policy making. We find that mainstreaming the ES concept is ‘no silver bullet’ and that expectations management is necessary to avoid frustration. While participatory approaches may be helpful for local policy integration and balancing trade-offs across policy fields they may fail in face of administrative challenges of vertical policy integration or due to imbalanced power relations and opposing agendas on the horizontal policy integration. Here, new participatory elements need to be effectively linked up with existing administrations and (other) democratically legitimized decision-making structures. Finally, a facilitated process of reflection of the boundary work involved may improve mainstreaming the ES concept.
Ex-ante evaluation of a PES system – a Northern European case on means to safeguard recreation environment for nature-based tourism
Authors: Jukka Tikkanen, Teppo Hujala
Abstract: This contribution evaluates landscape and recreational values trading (LRVT), a market-based system for payments for ecosystem services, as a vehicle to facilitate institutional transformation that preserves forested recreational environment for nature-based tourism business. Ruka-Kuusamo in northeastern Finland serves as a case region for LRVT evaluation that focuses on technical feasibility, institutional support, surplus to ecosystem services, and social capacity. The data comprises surveys and group interviews with ecosystem service providers (forest owners) and buyers (tourism entrepreneurs and tourists), complemented with newspaper articles, forest data and meetings minutes of local authorities. The results show tension between general acceptance and practical readiness to start LRVT. While hidden agendas and locked power positions maintain inertia in institutional transformation, several years of research intervention and public discussion have resettled the network of local actors to a promising position that shows capacity to co-create a functional LRVT system.
Revisiting production and ecosystem services on the farm scale for evaluating land use alternatives
Authors: Frederik Lerouge, Kurt Sannen, Hubert Gulinck, Liesbet Vranken
Abstract: Land is a scarce resource and should be used in such a way that the increasing global demand for food and feed can be fulfilled, ensuring sufficient levels of ecosystem services. Decision makers and other stakeholders are in need of appropriate diagnostic tools to estimate trade-offs and synergies associated with land allocation and land use intensity decisions. This often implies trade-offs between food and biomass production and other non-provisioning ecosystem services. This paper presents an approach using ecosystem services in evaluating land use strategies. The approach combines spatial and economic analyses to evaluate land use in a rural area under urban pressure. A preliminary application of this approach to a case farm demonstrates the relevance of this approach, and highlights current challenges. The results suggest that the optimal land use scenario in consideration of ecosystem services depends on the biophysical and spatial context as well as on the socio-economic context.
Competitiveness and Ecosystem Services: Linking Concepts and Perceptions
Authors: Bálint Esse, György Pataki, Bálint Balázs, Eszter Kelemen, Gyorgyi Bela
Abstract: This study aims at uncovering the relationships between competitiveness and ecosystem services on both theoretical and empirical levels. Exploring the links between the two concepts can help in finding the possibilities of enriching both research fields, and also in integrating the ecosystem services concept into business thinking discourse dominated by competitiveness. In the empirical part we were interested, how do business actors think about ecosystem services, and whether they realize those services as potential competitive advantages at all. In the empirical study reported here the Delphi method was applied as data generating method. From the perceptions of stakeholders among other interesting topics we learned about the vagueness of competitiveness concept, its relative nature, and the risks these perceptions carry for ecosystems. We also met the surprisingly strong need for research in this topic, and for distributing this knowledge to education systems and markets.
Building an effective PES scheme for protected areas: aligning insights from different disciplines
Design of Payments for Environmental Services: state of the art and problem statement
Authors: Nick Hanley, Laure Kuhfuss
Abstract: Protected areas play a valuable role in maintaining ecosystems, their biodiversity, and the services they provide. One way to manage these protected areas in order to secure the provision of these services is through the use of payment mechanisms, like PES schemes. Though these schemes are more and more frequently implemented, their design is still a challenging task. This presentation will provide a review of the state of the art of the design of payments schemes for the provision of ecosystem services. After a synthesis of the main challenges, we will identify the recent advances and remaining problems to be encountered in the design of schemes both environmental-effective and cost-effective.
What do people want for the Vistre River? Using choice experiment to support an ordinary stream restoration project
Authors: Sylvie Morardet, Laure Kuhfuss, Robert Lifran
Abstract: While flood control has been the main argument supporting early projects reshaping the Vistre riverbed (South-East of France), this policy proved to be inefficient to avoid catastrophic flood events. Furthermore, considering the poor ecological status of the river, on-going restoration projects aim at improving the river ecosystem quality and access for recreation. In agreement with the local authorities, we performed a choice experiment survey for assessing the public values attached to the restoration of the local streams, and understanding their preferences heterogeneity. Two multinomial models as well as a latent class model were estimated. Contrary to the expectations of main stakeholders, the results demonstrated that improvements in the quality of the river’s environment are more valued by local residents than flood control. Respondents’ ethics and confidence in the efficiency of the project management have a great influence on the heterogeneity of willingness to pay for restoration.
Opportunity analysis and evaluation of PES-like instruments for nature conservation in Flanders (Belgium)
Authors: Dieter Mortelmans, Rolinde Demeyer, Francis Turkelboom, Lieven De Smet
Abstract: PES is often presented as a promising instrument for nature conservation and development. However, at this stage, there are only few documented example of PES programmes in Europe, and none in Belgium. On the other hand, numerous existing financial instruments already implicitly address ecosystem services. Building on PES experiences worldwide, we developed a list of 16 criteria and success factors for PES instruments and constructed an opportunity analysis method to identify the potential of a PES approach. Our aim was to provide policy makers with necessary tools to evaluate their existing set of financial instruments for nature conservation in a PES perspective, and to identify avenues for improvement. Moreover our opportunity analysis allows policymakers to better identify the niche where PES instruments can be an effective option. We showed that this PES niche might be relatively small in the context of protected areas, although some promising opportunities exist.
The importance of stakeholders to identify preferred ecosystem services in a protected area: results from a national park
Authors: Sarah Jeanloz, Nele Witters, Sebastien Lizin, Steven Van Passel
Abstract: Protected areas (PAs) situated in urbanised regions play a substantial role in the provision of ecosystem services to residents and visitors. This provision has a management cost that is largely covered by (declining) governmental sources. To reduce their high dependency on public subsidies, PAs need to build a diverse funding portfolio to achieve financial sustainability. Payment mechanisms that capture the economic benefits delivered to PA beneficiaries represent a solution to reduce dependency. For payment mechanisms to be sustainable and applicable, their design is based on the consultation of stakeholders. Our study contributes to better defined procedures for pre-design research. Therefore, we describe how to conduct systematic qualitative research so as to identify attributes to be included in a choice experiment. Our study reports on the use of both focus groups and individual interviews to explore the importance local stakeholders attribute to ecosystem goods and services associated with a national park.