The lack of consideration for ecosystem services (ES) values in current decision making is recognised as one of the main reasons leading to an intense competition and arguably unsustainable use of well-located available land. In this article, we present a framework for the Valuation Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Services (VOTES), aiming at structuring a methodology that is applicable for valuing ES in a given area through a set of indicators that are both meaningful for local actors and scientifically constructed. Examples from a case study area in central Belgium are used to illustrate the methodology: a stepwise procedure starting with the valuation of ES at present. The valuation of the social, biophysical and economic dimensions of ES is based on current land-use patterns. Subsequently, scenarios of land-use change are used to explore potential losses (and/or gains) of ES in the future of the study area. With the VOTES framework, we aim at (1) incorporating stakeholders' inputs to widen the valuation process and increase trust in policy-oriented approach; (2) integrating valuation of ES with a sustainable development stance accounting for land-use change and (3) developing suggestions to policy-makers for integrating ES monitoring in policy developments.
- Ecosysteemdiensten (=ESD)