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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.

Whistling ducks flying over a wetland, Photo by Gary Cranitch </br> © Queensland Museum

Quick facts

Aquatic ecosystem values
can be biophysical, cultural, economic and social.

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:

  • First Nations peoples
  • people or groups living in, working with, and/or managing the aquatic ecosystem or surrounding landscape
  • people/institutions with decision-making responsibilities (e.g. local/State/Federal governments)[3][5].

There are several methods that can be used to identify the stakeholders and beneficiaries.

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.

Not all values can be expressed in monetary terms, and this does not reduce the importance of the value.[2][6][7]

Tips and tricks


The following questions may help to identify the values that stakeholders and beneficiaries hold:

  • What is important to you about this environment (e.g. fish, clean water)?
  • Why should this site be rehabilitated?
  • What will the rehabilitation project generate for you?

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[4][1]. 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[3][1]. 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[5].


  1. ^ a b Canning, AD, Jarvis, D, Costanza, R, Hasan, S, Smart, JCR, Finisdore, J, Lovelock, CE, Greenhalgh, S, Marr, HM, Beck, MW, Gillies, CL & Waltham, NJ (July 2021), 'Financial incentives for large-scale wetland restoration: Beyond markets to common asset trusts', One Earth. [online], vol. 4, no. 7, pp. 937-950. Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2021].
  2. ^ Chan, KMA, Satterfield, T & Goldstein, J (February 2012), 'Rethinking ecosystem services to better address and navigate cultural values', Ecological Economics. [online], vol. 74, pp. 8-18. Available at: [Accessed 23 June 2021].
  3. ^ a b Everard, M & Waters, R (2013), Ecosystem services assessment: How to do one in practice (Version 1, October 13). [online], Institution of Environmental Sciences, London. Available at:
  4. ^ Kati, V & Jari, N (January 2016), 'Bottom-up thinking—Identifying socio-cultural values of ecosystem services in local blue–green infrastructure planning in Helsinki, Finland', Land Use Policy. [online], vol. 50, pp. 537-547. Available at: [Accessed 8 January 2021].
  5. ^ a b Reed, MS, Graves, A, Dandy, N, Posthumus, H, Hubacek, K, Morris, J, Prell, C, Quinn, CH & Stringer, LC (April 2009), 'Who's in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management', Journal of Environmental Management. [online], vol. 90, no. 5, pp. 1933-1949. Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2021].
  6. ^ Scholte, SSK, van Teeffelen, AJA & Verburg, PH (June 2015), 'Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation: A review of concepts and methods', Ecological Economics. [online], vol. 114, pp. 67-78. Available at: [Accessed 30 May 2022].
  7. ^ Stålhammar, S (19 March 2021), 'Assessing People’s Values of Nature: Where Is the Link to Sustainability Transformations?', Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. [online], vol. 9, p. 624084. Available at: [Accessed 13 December 2021].

Last updated: 30 June 2022

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2022) Identify stakeholders and values for beneficiaries, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation