Shared and social values


Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (2017-2018)

The second stage of the UK MERP programme will use shared values approaches to link ecosystem models to economic, social and cultural impact analysis to understand how changes in marine ecosystems resulting from policy and environmental change will affect human well-being. The approach will bring together bioeconomic models, economic contingent behaviour models, ethnographic research, local knowledge and stakeholder deliberation to provide a comprehensive picture of potential environmental and social changes related to marine ecosystems, and brings together researchers and decision makers to consider how society might respond to these.

Valuing Nature Programme: Peatland Tipping Points (2016-2018)

The VNP’s Peatland Tipping Points project is investigating how changes in climate and how we manage land might lead to abrupt changes, or “tipping points”, in the benefits that peatlands provide to UK society. We will identify early warning signs (such as changes in common insects) and provide evidence about the likely economic and social impacts of reaching tipping points. This information will be used to develop options for policy and practice that can help prevent tipping points being reached and facilitate restoration and sustainable management of peatlands across the UK. A range of shared values approaches will be used linking economic and interpretive methods to participatory scenario analysis and deliberative valuation.

Community Voice Approaches to Marine Management (2014-2016)

This project is a collaboration between researchers and decision makers to develop shared values around management measures for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in England, a new type of marine protected area. The approach harnesses ethnographic film to assess and bring together diverse values across communities, which then feed into a deliberative analytical process where stakeholders evaluate potential management scenarios to support decisions by Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. The approach has been succesfully applied to two MCZs in Sussex, on the English south coast, and is now being extended to the east coast.

Peer-reviewed paper 

Cooperative Participatory Evaluation of Renewable Technologies on Ecosystem Services (CORPORATES) (2014-2015)

The CORPORATES project was a collaboration between researchers (University of Aberdeen, Scottish Association for Marine Science, James Hutton Institute, Marine Scotland Science), policy makers (Scottish Government) and renewable energy companies (Mainstream, Seagree, Repsol) to develop a decision support mechanism to exchange knowledge and develop shared values around ecosystem services associated with marine energy developments. The project focused on interactions between marine energy and other marine uses, including biodiversity conservation, fisheries, recreation and tourism in a marine spatial planning context.

Policy brief | Project report
Project website:

Valuing the Dark Peak: A Deliberative Approach to Payments for Peatland Ecosystem Services (2014-15)

This project explored opportunities fot a Payments for Ecosystem Services scheme in the Dark Peak upland moorland region of England, in the Peak District National Park. The project brought together a wide range of stakeholders and used deliberative monetary valuation to assess shared values for peatland restoration, negotiating fair prices for potential payments.

Project report

UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-On (2012-14)

The UK NEAFO aimed at addressing key knowledge gaps exposed by the UK NEA. One of these was an understanding that the significant collective meanings and values of ecosystems were underrecognised and new concepts, methods and indicators were needed to assess these shared values, and in particular to more comprehensively incorporate cultural ecosystem services into decisions. The work packages on Cultural Ecosystem Services and Shared, Plural and Cultural Values of Ecosystems developed a comprensive framework of shared values, a novel place-based and relational conceptualisation of cultural services, and demonstrated a wide variety of deliberative, interpretative and analytical methods to assess these services and values and integrate them into decisions.

Special issueHandbook for decision-makersPolicy brief | Technical reports
Project website:

Valuing Nature Network – Bridging the gap between supply of and demand for valuation evidence (BRIDGE) (2012-13)

The VNN BRIDGE project investigated the relationship between the ‘supply of’ and ‘demand for’ evidence on the value of nature. By better understanding the processes around the generation and uptake of knowledge, and the needs of decision-makers, we can help improve the decisions that policy-makers, businesses and the third sector make. The research highlighted interactions between plural interpretations of value and how these interacted with decision making contexts, and the potential for deliberation to enhance the potential effectiveness of valuation evidence.

Publication: What are shared and social value?
Special issue on Ecosystem Services and Knowledge Utilisation
Project website: