This research explores the perspective of social actors about the ecosystem services (ES) provided by tropical dry forests (TDF) in two protected areas in southern Ecuador that differ in their management schemes. Identifying the ES and understanding the preferences of local communities is seen as a means for improving decision making, especially in the protected areas. Therefore, our goal was to apply social assessment tools in order to have an in depth appreciation of the factors influencing the perception of social actors in a comparative case study. Since the research was conducted in two areas with similar ecosystem, but with different management, it illustrates the potential role that management policies have at shaping the perception of social actors regarding TDF’s ecosystem services. The results suggest that people perceive and prioritize ecosystem services differently according to the area and that such perception and prioritization is influenced not only by the management processes but also by the role that social actors play in the protected area.
Part of the book: Tropical Forests