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Call for a Special Issue on Equity and Justice in Ecosystem Service Research

Equity and justice are increasingly recognised as focal issues in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and the long-term safeguarding of human well-being. This is reflected in global efforts such as the United Nations Agenda 2030 or the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, which place equity and justice at the heart of sustainable development and advocate a fair and equitable sharing of nature’s benefits. In parallel to these efforts, equity and justice concerns are increasingly being accounted for by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, with growing attention to the recognition of diverse knowledge systems, voices and values of different stakeholders (IPBES, 2022). In response to these developments, this Special Issue aims to contribute to a better understanding of equity and justice concerns in ecosystem services research and to stimulate critical reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the ecosystem services framework in making equity and justice issues explicit.

We invite empirical case studies, methodological advancements as well as conceptual contributions exploring, assessing and reflecting on the role of (in)equity and justice in relation to ecosystem services.

Type of contributions

This Special Issue invites research articles, reviews and conceptual contributions addressing equity and justice in ecosystem services research, addressing questions related to:

Novel understandings of ecosystem services equity and justice

· What social-ecological drivers and mechanisms underpin different forms of (in)equities and (in)justices?

· At which spatial and temporal scales do (in)equities and (in)justices in ecosystem services co-production and distribution occur?

· What role do historical legacies play for the (in)equitable and (un)fair co-production and distribution of ecosystem services and their benefits?

· What role do individuals’ varying (and changing) values, needs, preferences and capabilities play in shaping opportunities to equally benefit from ecosystem services and cope with the burdens of ecosystem service production?

· What normative interpretations of an equitable and fair distribution of ecosystem services are prominent in different local communities, ecosystem services research?

Novel epistemological and methodological aspects to assess ecosystem services equity and justice

· Are novel approaches in ecosystem services quantification and assessment needed to purposefully pursue equity and justice in ecosystem service research and practice?

· What novel empirical methods are required to quantify and spatially localise (in)equities and (in)justices in an integrative manner across multiple dimensions of equity and justice?

Ontology and conceptual advances in ecosystem services equity and justice

· What are strengths and weaknesses of the ecosystem services framework in making issues of equity and justice explicit?

· Do we need to rethinking the ontologies, values, and ethics implicit in current framings and assessments of ecosystem services in order to better reveal and overcome (in)equities and (in)justices?

· How do equity and justice dimensions align with the ecosystem service cascade model and current ecosystem service accounting systems?

Manuscript submission information:

Submission Deadline: Sep 30, 2023

For more detailed information, click here.


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