Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Services

Integrating ecosystem services into marine and coastal development planning (Blue IES)

A practice-oriented training based on the Harvard Case Methodology


Development planners are often confronted with a set of multi-faceted challenges. Projects and policies intended to meet development goals often go forward unwittingly at the expense of nature; e.g. a national plan to expand aquaculture to increase food production may lead to mangrove degradation causing erosion and loss of fish habitat. Effects are felt by people who depend on nature for their livelihood and well-being. Recognizing the links between ecosystem services and development goals can be the key to a broader successful strategy.

A better ability to assess, describe and value benefits of ecosystem services can help development planners to understand better how their actions depend on and impact on ecosystem services, to consider trade-offs, and to choose policies that sustain services.

Our approach

The guide for development planners and policy-makers on integrating marine and coastal ecosystem services into development planning advocates a stepwise approach to recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystem services.

The training combines theoretical and practical elements and guides participants through the application of six steps to recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystem services.

6 steps

For more detail, please visit the ValuES Project website.

Training concept

The training is based on the Harvard Case Methodology, which conveys teaching messages mainly through interactive practical work by participants. The training takes place in the fictitious country of Bakul, a situation closely based on real life conditions and challenges.


  • To learn how to recognize linkages between ecosystem services and development.
  • To familiarize participants with tools and methods for assessing and valuing ecosystem services. 

  • To learn about main policy options and instruments to capture ecosystem services related risks and opportunities as well as entry points for decision-making.
  • To earth the approach in the context of partner countries and identify concrete opportunities to use the approach in participants’ work. 


Participants (max. 20)

  • Planners and policy-makers from ministries and agencies (both “conservation” and “development”)
  • NGO and civil society representatives
  • Academics from universities and research