The conceptual framework chapter presents the theoretical basis of the field of ecosystem services and their assessment in general, and the specific theoretical basis that was built for the Israeli project, including a schematic diagram. This chapter explains the rational for conducting the project, defines the central concepts, and describes important multidisciplinary aspects related to ecosystem services.
The conceptual framework chapter has a double role, and it serves two target audiences at different stages of the work:
The leading authors and the authors that contribute different chapters during work on the project: The conceptual framework is in fact a new intellectual framework, which must be adopted by the authors during the work. The conceptual framework helps the authors understand how to organize the information and edit it so that it will suit the project’s requirements, and how to connect between the different issues included in the report.
The project’s target audiences: The conceptual framework chapter presents the project with respect to all of its components, and provides a foundation for understanding the innovative ecosystem services approach, including all of the relevant concepts and subjects.
A central component of this chapter is the conceptual framework diagram. It summarizes the project’s rationale in one picture, presenting the connections between the ecosystem and the social system, wherein ecosystems services and their benefits are a link that connects between environment and society. Among other things, the conceptual framework chapter details the list of services and benefits provided to society by the ecosystems in Israel that are included in the project, and defines the supporting ecological processes taking place in each one that enable provision of the different types of services.