Recognizing, normalizing and articulating: an approach to highlight plural values of water ecosystem services in Colombia
Artículo de revista
The dialectical relationship between ecosystems and society is complex; therefore, holistic approaches are required to address this complexity. This view also stands out in the ecosystem services valuation field, where different scholars and global platforms have drawn attention to the need to incorporate plural valuation initiatives at decision-making. In this sense, through a comprehensive design, we conducted a multi-layered valuation of ecosystem services, and we highlighted multiple values in two areas of the province of Caldas, Colombia. We proposed a three-phase valuation process called Recognizing, Normalizing and Articulating values. Then, in cooperation with the regional environmental authority, we obtained different water-related ecosystem services values. Our results showed some warnings: first, we found mismatches between ecosystem services values; second, people assigned high values to ecosystems but the actual capacity of ecosystems to support ES is low. Finally, monetary values were marginal compared to social and ecological values. We conclude by saying that the more strata are assessed, the more values appear in the valuation scenarios, and those values could be conflicting. Our results have political implications, since they highlight the need to incorporate plural values as a fundamental tool for planning and land use in real scenarios where conflicts of interest and values are evident.
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