Policy relevance

The Ecological Services and Management Program (ESM) contributes to all four stages of the policy cycle: formulation, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Adapted from: © Creator76 | Dreamstime Adapted from: © Creator76 | Dreamstime

Adapted from: © Creator76 | Dreamstime

Policy impacts during 2014 were generated along three major impact pathways:

  1. ESM led discussions on new topics related to sustainable land management. A number of policy-relevant scientific outputs were published reaching a broad public audience and being covered by the BBC, Economist, and Guardian. The land capture game designed by ESM, listed among the top 10 education games of 2013, enhanced awareness of global land management related issues to a wide crowd of users as well as addressing the lack of data in assessing land-use policies.
  2. Policy impact assessment studies were carried out for a number of national and international policy-relevant institutions such as the European Commission, World Bank, and NGOs. One focus of the work was to construct globally consistent national land use scenario for EU member states, Brazil and Congo Basin countries, and Indonesia as part of IIASA’s Tropical Futures Initiative (TFI). All of these work streams contributed to detailed policy planning for policy implementation in the ongoing REDD+ and LULUCF policy processes. ESM also evaluated biofuel policy impact studies for the EU and USA.
  3. Outreach activities through public scientific and public lectures, capacity building activities of training country level analysts in Brazil, Congo Basin countries, and Indonesia using IIASA models, and advisory positions contributed to proximate impacts.

ESM also generates policy impact through active membership of ESM staff in the International Resource Panel (IRP), 'Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' (IPBES), as members in the scientific advisory board of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

Print this page

Last edited: 16 April 2015


Michael Obersteiner

Principal Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Further information



International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313