The Survey phase is about collecting the necessary evidence to inform the policy, plan, project or programme (PPPP). You should identify the data required to assess the options identified in the Ideas stage. Ensure that you assess the suitability of secondary data sources before embarking on primary surveys. Identify any data gaps and develop a plan for collecting missing information. Agree the scope and suitability of data (and any proxies) with your stakeholders involved in the Ideas phase. To help embed ecosystem services in subsequent stages, carry out a baseline survey of core ecosystem services.

Key questions and tools

  • What is the value of ecosystem services in the area of the policy, plan, project or programme (PPPP)?
  • Use the Ecosystem Assessment tool
  • Which survey techniques should be employed, considering the requirements of the PPPP and available resources? 
  • Consider using the Engagement tools. Focus on reviewing secondary data sources first from your own organisation and other stakeholders before embarking on costly primary data collection. 
  • What are the evidence requirements for identifying the location, state, value and resilience of ecosystem services most affected by the PPPP?
  • Where necessary, use the Ecosystem Mapping tool as a baseline mechanism upon which to base future ecosystem assessments.
  • What are the key lessons that you have learned during this stage?
  • Keep a record of these for the Evaluate stage.

Prompts for discussion

  • Agree the scope and acceptability of data to inform the Survey phase with all of your key stakeholders at the outset.
  • Can you undertake a baseline assessment of the ecosystem services using existing data?
  • What existing primary and secondary data and datasets are required/desirable from the Ideas phase?
  • What data exists already (consult partners and wider stakeholder networks including Ecosystems Knowledge Network and Universities)?
  • Are there any significant data gaps?
  • How can you best obtain and use the required (primary and secondary data?
  • Consult stakeholders and relevant public(s) over your initial options or proposals.
  • What are the relationships and dependencies affecting the delivery and success of the policy, plan, project or programme (PPPP)?
  • What are the key lessons emerging from the Ideas and Survey stages thus far? Use the suite of indicators developed in the Ideas phase to help.