Using dialogue to contextualize culture, ecosystem services, and cultural ecosystem services
Karen E Allen, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences
Celia Castellano, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences
Sophia Pessagno, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences
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We propose an alternative methodology for engaging with multifaceted cultural ecosystem services (CES) in the Global South. We explore the use of dialogue as a tool for understanding CES in situ, while developing shared action steps toward CES conservation among stakeholders. We held six dialogue workshops in the rural Central Pacific region of Costa Rica that were designed to foster understanding of shared community values for ecosystem services and associated conservation challenges. In two of the workshops, we employed model-based reasoning through which we used maps as boundary negotiating objects to nurture dialogue on CES values, observations, and concerns. In four of the workshops, we used photovoice to elicit reflection and dialogue on CES values and changes in ecosystem services in the region. Observations and surveys of workshop participants revealed that the process engendered reflection on ecosystem service values, and community support and enthusiasm for future communal efforts. These workshops demonstrated how dialogue can elucidate local values for CES, while strengthening support across stakeholders for improved conservation actions. We propose that this methodology is applicable in various contexts for improved CES assessment across diverse stakeholders.
community engaged research; cultural ecosystem services; dialogue; photovoice
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