Welcome to the ecosystem assessment platform of the Biodiversity Information System for Europe.
The platform aims at facilitating the planning and development of ecosystem assessments in Europe by facilitating information sharing.
The targeted audience comprises experts involved in planning or shaping ecosystem assessment at national, subnational or European scale, in policy bodies and research organisations.
Currently, the platform introduces the main sources of information on the concepts and methods that are useful for conducting an ecosystem assessment, it informs about some case studies in Europe, and it also provides an updated list of related events.
This platform does not present any formal opinion of EEA, its member countries, or other contributors.
To further feed this platform, the EEA is currently undertaking two surveys:
- A survey to review the needs and potential contributions from all users. This survey is available on line. Your feedback will help us define the scope and structure for a virtual library, in order to provide a more comprehensive and indexed collection of documents that are relevant for developing ecosystem assessments in Europe.
- A survey to document policy instruments for ecosystem based management in countries. More info.
The Millennium Assessment (MA), and the study on the economic significance of the global loss of biological diversity (TEEB), have highlighted that ecosystems are being degraded and that these degradations have major socio-economics effects. These degradations are further predicted to worsen if no action is taken, with potentially irreversible changes. Increasing knowledge and raising awareness about ecosystems and the socio-economic impacts of their degradation, as well as identifying strategies to reverse the ongoing degradation are therefore major issues.
Ecosystem assessments are needed to identify pathways towards a sustainable development. In Europe, some countries have already published a national ecosystem assessment, while initiatives are on-going or are in an explorative stage in some other countries. In 2011, the European Commission adopted a new EU Biodiversity Strategy. Action 5, under target two of this strategy, foresees that:
“Member States, with the assistance of the Commission, will map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services in their national territory by 2014, assess the economic value of such services, and promote the integration of these values into accounting and reporting systems at EU and national level by 2020”.
This specific action aims at providing the knowledge base on ecosystems and their services in Europe. It underpins the achievement of the other targets of the strategy (improve the outcomes of EU nature legislation, streamline biodiversity objectives into sectoral policies, combat invasive alien species, and help avert global biodiversity loss), as well as the other actions related to target two (insuring no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and setting priorities to restore and promote the use of green infrastructure).