Using the ecosystem services framework for defining diverse human-nature relationships in a multi-ethnic biosphere reserve

Maya Negev, Hila Sagie, Daniel E. Orenstein, Shiri Zemah Shamir, Yousef Hassan, Hani Amasha, Orna Raviv, Nasrin Fares, Alon Lotan, Yoav Peled, Lea Wittenberg, Ido Izhaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biosphere reserves are promoted as models for sustainable development, but face challenges in meeting their objectives, including balancing between diverse stakeholders with sometimes conflicting perceptions regarding human-nature relationships. We apply the ES assessment framework as a tool for identifying conflicting stakeholder perceptions within the Mount Carmel Biosphere Reserve in Israel. We report the results of a questionnaire designed to identify how residents and visitors from different ethnic groups (N = 703) use and perceive the ecosystem. Participation in outdoor activities, valuation of ES and perceptions towards conservation and rural development were similar across ethnicities. However, Druze respondents valued cultural services more than Jewish and Muslims respondents, while Jewish respondents valued regulating services more than Muslim respondents. Respondents were positive towards both nature conservation and rural development, which were not perceived by any ethnic group as contradictory goals. However, Jewish respondents were more predisposed towards conservation, and Druze towards development. The results elucidate how different population groups view the same reserve. This can assist managers in understanding core values that are driving current land use conflicts, and ultimately help reduce tensions regarding conservation and development objectives. ES assessments can thus be important tools for resolving natural resource conflicts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100989
JournalEcosystem Services
StatePublished - Oct 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology


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