Few studies analyze people’s preferences for ecosystem services (ES), disservices (ED) and drivers of change in less populated, tropical municipalities. Understanding such preferences and needs by the community and stakeholder groups before actually assessing, modelling, and measuring the supply of ES is key for decision-making and planning in municipalities, as well as for the conservation of nearby neotropical dry forests. We studied these dynamics in a small rural municipality in Colombia with limited data availability using semi-structured interviews and surveys, as well as ES-proxies and geospatial analyses. We then analyzed the supply and importance of two community identified ES and one ED from adjacent neotropical dry forests during 2005–2017. We found that respondents recognized air purification and food production as the most important ES. Increased temperatures and fires were the most important ED, while fires were also identified as an important driver of change. Air purification, via pollutant deposition to forest cover, remained approximately constant (116 ton/year), while food production (49 ton/ha) and fire occurrence, an ED, increased. Findings show how transdisciplinary research and participatory knowledge co-production among local communities, researchers and land management institutions can improve governance, decision making, policy uptake and planning efforts.
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