Jana Johanna Schluenss

Université du Québec en Outaouais
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Jérôme Dupras
Start: 2020-09-08
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Supporting decision-making processes for the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems by applying an ecosystem services and values perspective
Wetlands and coastal and marine ecosystems are undergoing increasing human-induced pressures which lead to a degradation of the natural environment. At the same time, humans are highly dependent on the benefits these ecosystems provide for society, which is captured in the concept of ecosystem services. With my research project, I assess stakeholders’ perceptions on ecosystem service loss and the values attributed to these ecosystem services. As the implementation of social sciences and the notion of plural values of ecosystem services in decision-making processes are still scarce, I explore the possibilities to integrate qualitative research with stakeholders, notably their perceptions and the plural values they attribute to ES, in the decision supporting tool Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Acknowledging the existence of multiple values and thus different worldviews increases the legitimacy and acceptance of policies. The values that I assess during my research project can be translated into indicators in order to implement them in decision-making processes, and to pave the way towards a holistic management of ecosystems. To develop a conceptual framework on how to integrate multiple values domains in LCA, I use an empirical approach to assess plural values which focuses on two different study sites along the Saint Laurence River. The first case study covers a wetland ecosystem by the Saint-Pierre Lake, Québec, and the second case study area is located further downstream by the Atlantic coast and includes the Gaspésie region. For my research project, I consider the plural values framework by the IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) which includes intrinsic, instrumental, and relational values.


services écosystémiques, ACV, valeurs plurielles , ecosystem services, LCA, plural values