Identify stakeholders and values for beneficiaries
Most aquatic ecosystems have multiple values associated with the services they provide. This is because different people using the system (beneficiaries and stakeholders) value the services provided by an ecosystem for different reasons. Examples of wetland services that are valued by beneficiaries include habitat provision, fish nurseries, protection from severe weather and having a role in carbon storage. Examples of river services valued by beneficiaries include water for drinking supply, food and biodiversity. Understanding the values and services of an area will inform rehabilitation planning to avoid unintended outcomes, such as the loss of a value through protecting or repairing another.
Identifying current and potential stakeholders, beneficiaries and values of a rehabilitation project
Stakeholders and beneficiaries should be identified early in the rehabilitation planning process to ensure that the outcomes of a project are appropriate and target the correct services and values of the ecosystem (see Key principles for rehabilitation). Not all people in the system will be beneficiaries, therefore, it is important to consider broader stakeholders in the system who do not benefit from, or are negatively impacted by, a service. Stakeholders may include:
More information on identifying stakeholders and beneficiaries can be found on Information sources for aquatic ecosystem rehabilitation planning page.
Social, cultural and economic values can be identified by actively engaging with stakeholders and beneficiaries throughout the Rehabilitation Process.
Tips and tricks
The following questions may help to identify the values that stakeholders and beneficiaries hold:
Existing and potential stakeholders and beneficiaries and their values should be identified when implementing the Rehabilitation Process. Existing stakeholders and beneficiaries are those that are involved or affected by the system presently. Potential stakeholders and beneficiaries are those people who may value the services generated by a rehabilitated site and/or services that are not realised until a specific event (e.g. flood or fire). Existing and potential stakeholders and beneficiaries and their values should be identified in the Aquatic Ecosystem Rehabilitation Plan.
Recognising and managing conflicting values resulting from a rehabilitation project
There may be several different stakeholders and beneficiaries who value the same ecosystem for different services, or an individual may value a system for multiple reasons. Beneficiaries are explicitly linked to benefits, but it is important to note that beneficiaries may hold differing values dependent on their interests in an aquatic ecosystem, and conflict may arise between different beneficiary groups and values. For example, a restoration project that removes a bund to allow saltwater ingress to destroy freshwater aquatic weeds and deliver increased carbon sequestration may provide benefits to beneficiaries who value those services. However, restoring tidal flows may degrade freshwater wetland habitat used by fish, turtles, and waterbirds, negatively impacting beneficiaries who value that habitat for recreational services, such as fishing or bird watching. Identifying the potential trade-offs and negative impacts to beneficiaries that arise from rehabilitation projects requires participation from all potential beneficiaries to ensure that conflicts between the values of beneficiaries can be resolved.
Last updated: 30 June 2022
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2022) Identify stakeholders and values for beneficiaries, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 April 2023. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/rehabilitation/rehab-process/step-2/values.html