Integration of ecosystem services as public values within election promises: evidence from the 2018 local elections in Korea
Integrating ecosystem services into public policy is critical for sustainability. Such integration requires public managers to prioritize ecosystem services as public values. However, the actual evidence for this prioritization remains scarce. To explore this evidence, we assessed officially documented election promises from 243 elected local government heads in the 2018 local elections in South Korea using qualitative content analysis. The study results showed that these government heads prioritized various ecosystem services as public values, including agricultural products and nature-based tourism. Ecosystem services management was even proposed to mitigate social issues, such as using forests to reduce particulate matter and the political tension between South and North Korea. Economic, cultural, and conservation values were associated with these ecosystem services, but economic values were the government heads’ main motivation to prioritize these services in the elections. Our findings demonstrate that ecosystem services have widely permeated the public-policy making process, but mainly in the form of market-based approaches.
Jaung, W; Carrasco, LR; Bae, JS
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