How to manage marine biodiversity by integrating a Vague notion? Ecosystem services under the constraint of social representations and field realities in the Comoros

WIOMSA 12th symposium, poster presentation

Beach in Comoros @ Nourddine Mirhani


Nassim Abdallah, Univ. La Réunion

Gilbert David, IRD, UMR Espace Dev


The evaluation of ecosystem services (benefits offered to humans by ecosystems) is still mainly focused on the supply of services or their monetary value without explicitly studying their actual contribution to the well-being of inhabitants or users, except for links to health (Prévot and Geijendorffer, 2016). Our work aims goal to address these shortcomings by consist proposing to explicitly assess the perception that individuals have of the contribution of ecosystem services as a component of their well-being.

The methodology implemented is based on the evaluation of social representations by associating both structured interview, cognitive graph and cognitive map. 

First, the respondent is asked to cite the words he associates with the concept of well-being and then to evaluate the relationship that may exist between the ecosystems he frequents or uses and this well-being, this relationship revealing an ecosystem service. 

This methodology allowed us to empirically verify the hypothesis of a positive impact of ecosystem services on well-being. This contribution depends on the socio-professional category (fishermen represent well-being differently from other actors) and the type of ecosystem: beaches and beach tops generate more well-being than mangroves and coral reefs.


D. POIGNONEC (2006), Apport de la combinaison cartographie cognitive/ontologie dans la compréhension de la perception du fonctionnement d'un écosystème récifo-lagonaire de Nouvelle-Calédonie par les acteurs locaux. These Pour l'obtention du titre de Docteur de l'ENSAR - Rennes

Moscovici, S. (1961). La psychanalyse, son image et son public. Étude sur la représentation sociale de la psychanalyse. Paris, PUF.

Prévot, A. & Geijzendorffer, I. (2016). Biodiversité, services écosystémiques et bien-être. Philip Roche éd., Valeurs de la biodiversité et services écosystémiques: Perspectives interdisciplinaires Versailles: Éditions Quæ.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), 2005a. Current state and trends assessment, Washington D.C.,