Document Type

Article (Journal or Newsletter)

Scholarship Type

Faculty Scholarship, Student Scholarship

Publication Date



We propose an alternative methodology for engaging with multifaceted cultural ecosystem services (CES) in the Global South. We explore the use of dialogue as a tool for understanding CES in situ, while developing shared action steps toward CES conservation among stakeholders. We held six dialogue workshops in the rural Central Pacific region of Costa Rica that were designed to foster understanding of shared community values for ecosystem services and associated conservation challenges. In two of the workshops, we employed model-based reasoning through which we used maps as boundary negotiating objects to nurture dialogue on CES values, observations, and concerns. In four of the workshops, we used photovoice to elicit reflection and dialogue on CES values and changes in ecosystem services in the region. Observations and surveys of workshop participants revealed that the process engendered reflection on ecosystem service values, and community support and enthusiasm for future communal efforts. These workshops demonstrated how dialogue can elucidate local values for CES, while strengthening support across stakeholders for improved conservation actions. We propose that this methodology is applicable in various contexts for improved CES assessment across diverse stakeholders.


Ecology and Society, Volume 26, Number 2, Article 7

Additional Affiliated Department, Center or Institute

Earth and Environmental Science

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.