Socio-economic or environmental benefits from pondscapes? Deriving stakeholder preferences using analytic hierarchy process and compositional data analysis

Vo H., Vrachioli M., Frick F., Sauer J., Brucet Balmana S., Benejam Vidal L., ...More

Journal of Environmental Management, vol.342, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 342
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118298
  • Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Multi-criteria decision analysis, Nature contribution to people, Nature-based solutions, Ponds
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Ponds occupy a large share of standing water worldwide and play an important role in providing various ecosystem services. There are concerted efforts of the European Union either to create new ponds, or to restore and preserve existing ponds as nature-based solutions to provide benefits to ecosystem and human well-being. As part of the EU PONDERFUL project, selected pondscapes (i.e. landscapes of ponds) in eight different countries – hereafter “demo-sites”, are studied to comprehensively understand their characteristics and their efficiency to provide ecosystem services. In addition, the needs and knowledge of stakeholders who own, work, research, or benefit from the pondscapes are also important, because of their capabilities to create, manage and develop the pondscapes. Therefore, we established connection with stakeholders to study their preferences and visions on the pondscapes. Using the analytic hierarchy process, this study shows that in general stakeholders in the European and Turkish demo-sites prefer environmental benefits to economic benefits, while stakeholders in the Uruguayan demo-sites rank the economic benefits higher. More specifically, in the European and Turkish demo-sites, the biodiversity benefits, i.e. life-cycle maintenance, habitat and gene pool protection, receive the highest ranking among all groups. On the other hand, stakeholders at the Uruguayan demo-sites rank provisioning benefits as the most important, because many ponds in Uruguayan demo-sites are being used for agricultural purposes. Understanding those preferences helps policy makers to address the needs of stakeholders more correctly, when considering any action or policy for the pondscapes.