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Valuing ecosystem services in agriculture – a way towards efficient decision making

Currently farmers or other agricultural decision makers do not, in a systematic way, incorporate the value of ecosystem services to support their decisions to develop a sustainable food and bioenergy production system.

The goal of the project is to develop multi level decision support tools, able to visualise the ecological and economic potential consequences of different alternative management options and policies on the value of ecosystem services given uncertainty about the future.  Such support tools aims to help farmers and decision makers to assess which management actions and combinations of policies will best promote achievement of long term sustainable food and bioenergy production systems.

The project build on cross-disciplinary research achievements at the Centre for Environment and Climate Research, where methods for quantifying and valuing ecosystem services and also evaluating incentives and proposed measures according to their cost-effectiveness have been developed. To ensure the end-user needs (decision makers at different levels) the project will be enveloped within a participatory design process where a close interaction will be developed between scientists and end-users.


A man standing in front of a tractor in a field. Photo.

The project uses agriculture in Scania, South of Sweden, as a case study of how and in which ways knowledge of the value of ecosystem services can be communicated and discussed and transformed into concrete decisions by farmers, county boards and national bodies.

The ambition is that the project in the long run will be able to support the achievement of the environmental objectives; A Varied Agricultural Landscape, Zero Eutrophication, Reduced Climate Impact Good Quality Groundwater, A Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life through informing decisions at relevant levels.

VESA – a collaboration project

The project is a collaboration between Lund University and the Swedish Agricultural University SLU and consist of five researchers. Hushållningssällskapet as a Swedish farm advisor body are also a part of the project.

VESA is a three year project 2014–2016 financed by the Swedish Environmental protection Agency as a part of  its special focus on research to facilitate the inclusion of  the value of ecosystem services in societal decisions.

We welcome you to browse through our webpage and to learn more about VESA and our research!


A bumblebee pollinating a flower. Photo.

Contact VESA

Project coordinator
Katarina Hedlund

Centre for Environmental and Climate Science, Lund University
katarina [dot] hedlund [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 37 98