TWG 3 – ES Indicators

1. Introduction & Objectives

Indicators play a key role in any ecosystem service assessment and the communication of their results. Indicators are, or should be, a crucial part of our methods and can serve many different purposes, be it mapping and modelling, valuing, biophysical quantification, scenario development or (inter) national ecosystem assessments. Regardless of the purpose, one returning question is “What are we really measuring with the indicators we use – is what we measure what we get?” Key questions we are focusing on include :

  • What is a good indicator, what is the difference between optimal indicators and the ones we use?
  • How to measure different components of the ecosystem service process or ‘cascade’:
    • Ecological / biophysical aspects: measuring
    • Service provision and use: modelling, combining suits of indicators and inputs
    • Socio-economic aspects: surveys, statistics, participatory methods
  • What are appropriate criteria for indicator selection, depending on the assessment purpose?

For a more elaborate overview of TWG 3’s objectives, please visit this page. We envision active collaboration, both during and outside of ESP conferences, for instance through organising workshops, conducting reviews and meta-analyses,  and sharing news through a list server. Please see Activities and Outputs for more information.

We are keen to hear your thoughts on this working group, our updated aims and focus and how you think you could contribute. Please contact us at and

2. Lead Team & Members

  • Alexander van Oudenhoven (co-Chair), Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • Matthias Schröter (co-Chair), German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) / UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lead team, please contact the current lead team members. Please find a list of the current group members here.

If you are interested in becoming a member of this Working group, please click here. Please note that membership requests without further introduction and explanation of your work (and its link to ES indicators) will be ignored.

3. More Information

For more information about this working group, you can click on one of the following links: