Conceptual framework and glossary of terms

The conceptual framework has a double role:
  1. It provides a theoretical basis for conducting the project and accompanies the assessment team throughout their work. The use of one conceptual framework ensures uniformity in use of terms, and a unified understanding of the aims and scope of the project and the links between the different components. For example, biodiversity and ecosystems with social systems, quantification of ecosystem services with policy and management decisions, and the importance of detailed descriptions of drivers of change for understanding future scenarios. 
  2. It serves as an important communication medium for presenting the content and aims of the project to target audiences in a clear and succinct way.
In addition, the conceptual framework includes a glossary defining the most important terms related to the project with the aim of creating a uniform language, and presents the main issues covered by the different components of the project, with the links between them, in one flowchart.



An area containing living organisms interacting among themselves and with their physical & chemical environment.

Ecosystem services

The outcomes of ecosystem processes that are important to human life and wellbeing.


The material and non-material ways in which ecosystem services contribute to human life and well-being


The measure of benefits provided to humans by ecosystems, which can be in monetary (₪), physical (-/+) or qualitative terms.

Regulating services

The outcomes of ecosystem processes that regulate conditions of the biotic and abiotic environment in ways that are crucial and beneficial to humans.

Provisioning services

The outcomes of ecosystem processes that provide products obtained by humans.

Cultural services

The outcomes of ecosystem processes that enrich the lives of humans in non-material ways.


The variability among living organisms on earth including diversity within species, between species and between ecosystems.


The variety of rocks, minerals, fossils, landforms, sediments and soils in a place.

Ecosystem Processes

The result of complex interactions between biotic (living organisms) and abiotic (chemical and physical) components of ecosystems through the universal driving forces of matter and energy (De Groot 2002).

Supporting ecosystem processes

Those ecosystem processes that directly underlie or are necessary for the provision of ecosystem services and their related benefits.

Summarizing figure: a snapshot of the ideological framework

This figure presents all the important components of the ecological-social system and the links between them. Each box in the figure will be expanded on within the text of the conceptual framework and will be referred to in the different parts of the assessment.