Ecological effectiveness of policy instruments: Gains in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provisioning.

Contact: Graciela Rusch, NINA 



1) Scope the availability of existing national geo-referenced databases of species distributions, plant functional attributes, habitat/vegetation types, and physical attributes (substrate, climate and topography) adequate for characterizing biodiversity surrogates and LULC categories in the case study sites.

2) Define the methodology to generate surrogate measures of biodiversity conservation and to characterize appropriate LULC categories to evaluate conservation and ecosystem provisioning gains made by the various economic instruments in the study sites.

3) From the literature and partners’ databases  retrieve data on ecosystem service provisioning made by the various LULC in the study sites.

4) Provide a methodological framework to integrate the models for multi-scale assessment of ecosystem services and Systematic Conservation Planning for quantifying gains in conservation and ecosystem services under various policy mix scenarios in the study sites.


Task 1 Scoping the availability of data for ecological effectiveness analysis 

Task 2. Develop framework for surrogates to assess gains in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provisioning 

Task 3. Review of models linking ecosystem service provisioning to LULC  

Task 4. Develop multi-criteria framework to assess synergies and trade-offs in biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning gain 

Task 5: Testing surrogates and framework developed in Tasks 3- 4 in case studies 







  • Blumentrath, S. (2011) Site prioritisation models and their suitability for assessing and designing policy mixes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision: a comparison of software packages. Technical Brief Issue no.4
  • Rusch,G.M. et al. (2011) Policy outcomes: A guideline to assess biodiversity conservation and ESS provision gains. Technical Brief Issue no.3
  • Rusch,G.M. et al. (2011) Existing data and adequacy of the datasets for the national and local scales analyses for assessing gains in maintaining biodiversity. POLICYMIX Report Issue 3/2011
  • Rusch,G.M. et al. (2013) Best practice guidelines for assessing effectiveness of instruments on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision. Technical Brief Issue no. 7
  • Barton, D.N. et al. (2013) Policyscape—A Spatially Explicit Evaluation of Voluntary Conservation in a Policy Mix for Biodiversity Conservation in Norway. Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, 26:10, 1185-1201
  • Schröter et al. (2015) Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity. PLOS ONE November 13, 2014
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson et al. (2015) Spatial Overlap between Environmental Policy Instruments and Areas of High Conservation Value in Forest
  • Andrade, J. et al., compensation for Legal Reserves in Northwest Mato Grosso: a policymix to reduce deforestation
  • Del Arco, P., May P. H., Rusch, G.. 2013. The effect of forest proximity on biological control of pasture in Northwest Mato Grosso, Brazil: an economic analysis for land use policy. ESEE Conference, Lille.
  • Schulz- Zunkel, C., Schröter-Schlaack, C., Ring, I. & Klenke, R. (2014): Selecting biodiversity indicators for implementing ecological fiscal transfers at state level in GermanySubmitted to Ecological Indicators