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Carina Rauen Firkowski

Postdoctoral fellow | Postdoctorant.e
Human population and its growing demands have triggered the worldwide erosion of biodiversity and instilled trade-offs amongst the ecosystem services we depend upon. Nevertheless, biodiversity and ecosystem services loss can still be attenuated if proactive and anticipatory strategies are followed, such as the initiatives proposed by NSERC ResNet. ResNet is a network for modelling, monitoring, and managing Canadian ecosystem services for its long-term sustainability and resilience. While the need to monitor has been identified at a global scale, comprehensive monitoring schemes remain scarce and lack integration. Additionally, current ecological monitoring captures important dynamics in ecosystem services stock and supply, but it fails to account for all components of social-ecological systems essential for assessing the long-term sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystem services under changing or novel condition. Hence, as a part of ResNet’s monitoring theme, we propose an integrated network framework to monitor biodiversity and ecosystem services in social-ecological systems, with the fundamental objective to ensure its sustainability into an uncertain future. We illustrate our multi-layer and multi-scale approach with a case-study on the provisioning ecosystem service of Maple Syrup production in Québec, Canada. We also outline the challenges of monitoring for the sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystem services in social-ecological systems, and discuss the importance of establishing integrative monitoring initiatives across a diverse set of ecosystem services and stakeholders for ecologically and socially just decision-making. Altogether, our proposed approach aims to capture emergent properties of social-ecological systems, and thus simultaneously assess the effects of human activities and its potentially unintended consequences for nature and human well-being.