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4.3.1 Interviews with stakeholders and/or experts

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4 3 1  interview phases

Figure: for what phase this tool may be useful


Interviews with stakeholders, scientists, experts and elected-members are a good way to collect information and knowledge on:

  • The ecosystem studied;
  • The interaction between the ecosystem services (ES) and human activities;
  • The data available, gaps and uncertainties and
  • The different perceptions of stakeholders.

Before the interviews it is essential to prepare a guide that gathers all the questions  that need to be asked of the stakeholders and/or experts. It may be helpful to record the interviews; to keep all the information and to transcribe it later. However, some stakeholders may be concerned if they know that they are being recorded. In this case, you will have to decide if it is preferable to record them or not. You should gain the interviewee’s agreement before any recording is undertaken.

Interviews can take up to to 2 hours, plus the time necessary to transcribe the interviews and analyze them.

Time: 1 to 2 hours/interview
Technical level: 1/4
Advantages: create links and confidence between the stakeholders and managers; better comprehension of the ecosystem studied and local issues; useful to collect expert’s opinions.
Limits: availability and involvement of stakeholders; time consuming.
Resources needed: recording device.
Advice: well prepare the interview guide and collect information on the interviewees and their activities.



Example of an interview guide  on interactions between maritime activities and seagrass beds

  • Date / Name of the interviewer / Name of the interviewee(s)

Seagrass beds:

  • What is the present distribution of seagrass beds and their evolutions observed?
  • What are the essential parameters to the development of seagrass beds?
  • What are the sensitivities of seagrass beds?


  • How do you go about your work/business/activity (where? when?)?
  • Are seagrass beds a constraint for your activity?
  • What are the potential impacts of your activity on seagrass beds?
  • How could your activity change/ evolve in the future?


  • Do you think that the seagrass beds have a positive impact on your activities? If yes, why and how?


  • Who could we contact to tell us about the seagrass beds and their management?
  • Do you have any publications or books to advise us on the subject?
  • Would you be interested in continuing to work with us and how?


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