Ecosystems Services and Management

The goal of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program is to support development of realistic strategies for the production of food, feed, fiber, and bio-energy that sustain ecosystem services and safeguard food security. Today, ESM tools are used by governments and international organizations as an integral part of policy making.

© Andrii Iarygin | Dreamstime

© Andrii Iarygin | Dreamstime

By using advanced systems analysis, new technologies, and integrated biophysical, social, and economic modeling techniques, ESM is charting possible future solutions by linking ecosystems, society, policy, and governance. ESM has created a model cluster that integrates all major sectors involved in competition for land-based resources. This was designed to overcome the “stovepipe problem” of isolated sector approaches to policy change. ESM tools allow for high-resolution, sector-specific assessments in a land resources context, often leading to coordination between agencies or ministries.

Another objective of ESM modeling is to create methods for globally consistent regional, national, and local assessment of land management strategies. All ESM models are implemented on a global level and allow for seamless and hierarchical geographic scaling, ideally in partnership with local partners from IIASA member countries. The resulting portfolios of policy instruments (including observation systems) will be consistent across space, time, and economic, as well as environmental, sectors.

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Last edited: 15 March 2016


Michael Obersteiner

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

Florian Kraxner

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources 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