Friday, February 23, 2024

UK NEA follow-on phase

Work Package 8: Institutional cultural and behavioural barriers



The UK NEA perceived the problem of how to better safeguard ecosystems to be partly about new knowledge development, but also about inadequate knowledge utilisation: “Ecosystem services are critically important to our well being… but are consistently undervalued in conventional economic analysis and decision making” (UK NEA, 2011, p.13). Since the late 1980s, policy appraisal processes have been critical mechanisms for integrating knowledge into policy decision making. Moreover, the importance of appraisal is explicitly recognised in the Natural Environment White Paper (Defra 2011, Ch 3.), and in related guidance in the Treasury’s Green Book and its supplementary guidance on the ecosystems services. It is absolutely vital that policy relevant lessons are learnt from experiences with policy appraisal, otherwise time and resources could be wasted as the government seeks to act on the Natural Environment White Paper.



Investigate capacities and constraints to embedding consideration of ecosystem services in policy decision making through appraisal, with a specific focus on the role played by institutional behaviours and cultures as both barriers and enablers.


This project will investigate capacities and constraints to the routine embedding consideration of ecosystem services in policy decision-making through appraisal, with a specific focus on the role played by institutional behaviours and cultures as both barriers and enablers. The importance of appraisal for integrating ecosystems knowledge into policy-making is explicitly recognised in the Natural Environment White Paper and in related guidance in the Treasury’s Green Book. Therefore, this project will review the relevant literature, examine how an ecosystems approach is being applied currently and, with the aid of interviews, investigate the role of different institutional cultures and behaviours in shaping the embedding of an ecosystems approach in appraisal and policy-making more widely. In so doing, pathways for improving ecosystems services knowledge in decision-making and everyday behaviours will be explored. 




Opportunity for input

Anticipated audience(s)

Stakeholder workshop

To be held on Autumn 2013

Open Invite to stakeholders

National and Local Government, NGO Stakeholders

Drawing lessons for policy makers

1st draft to be complete in June 2013

Open to peer review as part of the zero order draft

National and Local Government, NGO Stakeholders

Two academic papers

To be completed by Spring 2014

Academic peer review


Two page summary brief

To be completed in Autumn 2013


Policy makers at national and local governance levels & NGO stakeholders

Methods/tools being developed:

This project will not be developing new methods and tools. It will however, explore the impacts of institutional behaviours and cultures on tool/method selection and use. 

Anticipated Case Studies:

This work package does not follow a case study approach, instead it focuses on broader lessons  and experiences from people implementing the Natural Environment White Paper and/or conducting policy appraisal at different governance levels.

Links to other Work packages:

WP1: How to input asset-check to wider policy making

WP4: Understanding of cultural values from natural capital assets

WP5: How do shared values influence uptake of ecosystems knowledge in decision-making? How do decision-makers perceive plural values?

WP6: Characterising decision-making in scenarios

WP7: Effect of culture and behaviour on implementation of response options

WP9/WP10: Culture change for successful use of tools; developing indicators for tools


Principal Investigator:

Duncan Russel (University of Exeter)

Team Members:

Alan Bond, Andrew Jordan,  John Turnpenny & Camilla Adelle (University of East Anglia)

William Sheate (Collingwood Environmental Planning Ltd./Imperial College London)

Resource allocated: £100,000


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