Welcoming different perspectives in IPBES: “Nature’s contributions to people” and “Ecosystem services”


A recent paper by Díaz et al. (2018a) presented “nature’s contributions to people,” a conceptual framework developed within the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The authors wrote that it could nurture a paradigm shift from the concept of ecosystem services. The paper has sparked quick reactions including a critical editorial response in the journal Ecosystem Services (Braat 2018) and several Science eLetters responses. Díaz et al. (2018a) and the responses generally disagree on whether the paradigm shift suggested by the original contribution is justified and whether the nature’s contributions to people framework represents a scientific advance that is broadly useful in contexts other than IPBES.

In this contribution, we call for a recognition of pluralism and the need for a richer process of articulation, translation, and discussion among many different perspectives on people’s relationship with nature.


Full reference: Peterson, G. D., Z. V. Harmackova, M. Meacham, C. Queiroz, A. Jiménez Aceituno, J. J. Kuiper, K. Malmborg, N. E. Sitas, and E. M. Bennett. 2018. Welcoming different perspectives in IPBES: “Nature’s contributions to people” and “Ecosystem services”. Ecology and Society 23(1):39.https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10134-23013