INTERMEDIATE LEVEL CONTENTS
The intermediate level is the more engaging in terms of contents because it is addressed to those who want to consolidate their theoretical knowledge of ES and to learn some ways of using it in environmental management and territorial development.
The modules of this level will range from the understanding of concepts related to ES mapping and assessment to the learning of the specific AlpES project approach.
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A.1) Ecosystem Services and their connection with biodiversity and human activity
The main topics are acquiring knowledge about the interdependencies between ecosystem services and related elements of influence, such as biodiversity and approaching the concept of economic evaluation of ecosystem services benefits.
A.2) Implementation of Ecosystem Services in governance and decision-making processes
Over the last decade, scientific literature has largely debated about the role of ecosystem services in decision-making processes concerning environment management and territorial development. There is a unanimous agreement in recognizing that ecosystem services approach can help individuals and institutions to recognize the value of nature and, consequently, to have more information to better invest in conservation, fostering at the same time human well-being.
B.1 ) What are Ecosystem Services?
Ecosystem services are a concept developed to support our understanding of human uses and management of natural resources. A large part of human life, included health and wellbeing, depends on services provided by the ecosystems and their components: water, soil, organisms but also landscapes and sceneries and other intangible elements present in nature which contribute to intellectual and spiritual needs.
I.1 ) AlpES approach to Ecosystem Services
The Alps are considered as a mosaic of territories with specific peculiarities both natural and socio-economical. This diversity impacts directly on the number and quality of ecosystem services and on their interconnection. Moreover, the Alpine range is characterized by a rough morphology and by the administrative complexity, with many countries converging towards the watersheds.
I.2) Methods and tools for mapping and assessment
The definition of mapping and assessment is strongly dependent on the objectives and aims which underpin them and that initiate the development of the ES system. These are diverse within the project partner states, as some concepts are specifically aiming for monetary evaluation while others target the assessment of ecosystems for various reasons to be analysed.
I.3 ) Learning more about AlpES Ecosystem Services indicators
In this module it will be presented the rationale of AlpES indicators with a focus on metadata, sources, calculation. First of all, we have to explain the reasons why AlpES chose them and, afterwards, the way they are built and calculate. The aim of this article is to provide a clear insight to the most important AlpES tool for ES assessment, it will be necessary to explain the process from data source to the final algorithms, organising the text in short paragraphs referring to each step with link to external documents (e.g. list of data sources).
I.4) Instruments for Ecosystem Services implementation
When participating in or leading a governance or decision-making process, it is essential to have background information why ecosystem services are a key element in national policies and local strategies about environment management and territorial development.