The use of sociocultural valuation in sustainable environmental management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The integration of sociocultural valuations (SCV) within an ecosystem services (ES) framework is increasingly being required in environmental management contexts. Yet, this raises important questions: how do we approach SCV when people's perceptions are based on unbalanced information and advocate for detrimental actions? How then should SCV results be used? Should they be used to steer decisions? We use an example from a SCV of ES provided by seagrass meadows in the North Western Mediterranean to provide recommendations on SCV integration into the management of a coastal ecosystem. Our results show that societal perceptions and preferences for specific management actions are generally built on unbalanced and incomplete knowledge. Consequently, establishing management decisions on SCV could lead to detrimental outcomes, potentially undermining long-term environmental and social benefits. We highlight the importance of integrating SCV into management design to tailor management to specific contexts. However, we also show that SCV should be considered carefully when deciding on management actions and that the integration of SCV outcomes has to be assessed with regards to the level of knowledge among society.


External organisations
  • CSIC Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Management


  • Disservice, Integration, Perception, Posidonia oceanica, Seagrass
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch