Basic LEVEL CONTENTS
B.2) Why are Ecosystem Services important for our society?
- Learning how the ecosystem services approach can support strategies and policies
- Identifying the instruments by which EU is acting for Ecosystem services
Ecosystem Services approach changes our vision of the relationship with nature and environment
Apparently, it seems quite complicated to understand and manage ecosystem services, but this is not so: it is just “complex”. Our society is founded on complexity, and human ingenuity has invented, and still is inventing, efficient solutions to face it. We need only mention the new technologies and the management of big data through super computers. We are working on climate change and forecasts of extremely variable conditions, such as the weather, which are more and more sophisticated and reliable. So the same capacity can be applied to ecosystems in order to adopt a more holistic vision of our relationship with nature.
Application the Ecosystem services approach in AlpES
In the AlpES project, the scope of our analysis has been restricted to instruments for environmental management and territorial development. For this reason, suitable indicators were identified to give reliable information about the state and location of ES in the municipalities of the Alpine Space.
The analysis and maps provided by AlpES support:
- Decision making processes, allowing e.g. comparison and benchmark between different areas of the Alps and also between municipalities;
- Land planning strategies, at supra-communal, regional or even wider level, furnishing a vision of the presence and relevance of the Ecosystem services concerned;
Biodiversity and natural resources protection through appreciation of the level of ecosystem services present in a given area.
European Union strategies involving Ecosystem Services
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Some European countries´ assessments are particularly relevant, such as the UK NEA (UK National Ecosystem Assessment) or the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), developed in Germany.