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Informal instruments can be described as processes and procedures without legally binding commitments in a stricter sense or references to legal procedures. Examples are round table discussions, future labs or citizen planning groups. (See opposite formal instruments).
Within the AlpES project both, formal and informal instruments are taken into consideration for the operationalization of the ES concept. Due to flexibility and adaptability reasons informal instruments are considered to be the more suitable way for a short- to middle-term Ecosystem Service implementation into management decision support.