Plural valuation of nature for equity and sustainability: Insights from the Global South

Zafra-Calvo, Noelia; Balvanera, Patricia; Pascual, Unai; Merçon, Juliana; Martín-López, Berta; van Noordwijk, Meine; Mwampamba, Tuyeni Heita; Lele, Sharachchandra; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Arias-Arévalo, Paola; Cabrol, Diego; Cáceres, Daniel M.; O'Farrell, Patrick; Subramanian, Suneetha Mazhenchery; Devy, Soubadra; Krishnan, Siddhartha; Carmenta, Rachel; Guibrunet, Louise; Kraus-Elsin, Yoanna; Moersberger, Hannah; ... (2020). Plural valuation of nature for equity and sustainability: Insights from the Global South. Global environmental change, 63, p. 102115. Elsevier 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102115

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Plural valuation is about eliciting the diverse values of nature articulated by different stakeholders in order to inform decision making and thus achieve more equitable and sustainable outcomes. We explore what approaches align with plural valuation on the ground, as well as how different social-ecological contexts play a role in translating plural valuation into decisions and outcomes. Based on a co-constructed analytical approach relying on empirical information from ten cases from the Global South, we find that plural valuation contributes to equitable and sustainable outcomes if the valuation process: 1) is based on participatory value elicitation approaches; 2) is framed with a clear action-oriented purpose; 3) provides space for marginalized stakeholders to articulate their values in ways that can be included in decisions; 4) is used as a tool to identify and help reconcile different cognitive models about human-nature relations; and 5) fosters open communication and collaboration among stakeholders. We also find that power asymmetries can hinder plural valuation. As interest and support for undertaking plural valuation grows, a deeper understanding is needed regarding how it can be adapted to different purposes, approaches, and social-ecological contexts in order to contribute to social equity and sustainability.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe








Evi Nina Rothenbühler

Date Deposited:

27 Jul 2020 11:59

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:39

Publisher DOI:





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