MAES-related developments in Germany

A. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation:

1) Core MAES activities and research projects :

  • TEEB-Germany Scoping-Study: Part A: Physical Accounting for Ecosystem Services, 2010 – 2014, finalised. Final report (346 pp.) in German language available at Subject/main topics: Definition of Ecosystem Services, Prioritization of services with special importance for Germany, exploration of available data, presentation/creation/discussion of alternative indicators for each service, reasoned proposal of one indicator for each service, mapping of indicator values on the basis of available data; scoping study on economic values for ecosystem services (meta-analysis)
  • Discussion paper: Development of National Indicators for Ecosystem Services - Recommendations for Germany. First version: September 2014, final version, 51 pp., published in English and German, August 2015, 51 pp. Subject/main topics: Proposal for 23 indicators for ecosystem service supply, demand and use. Mainly on the basis of study 1) with some extensions and modifications regarding e.g. groundwater quality, fodder production, ecosystem services of natural and semi natural ecosystems in agricultural landscapes.

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 Implementation of Measure 5 – EU Biodiversity Strategy: National Indicators for Ecosystem Services, 2014 – 2016. Subject/main topics: in depth discussion of proposed indicators with experts and stakeholders, refinement of indicator set, trend assessment on the basis of at least two calculations with refined methodologies and most recent data. Planned: additional module on indicators for ecosystem condition.

 Integration of Ecosystem Services into the National Environmental Accounting-System, planned for 2016 - 2018. Subject/main topics: Scoping study and in depth analysis of non-monetary and monetary approaches for selected items of ecosystem services and capital.

 2) Related activities (major public research activities)

  • Natural Capital Germany – TEEB DE (2012 – 2017)

Study Leader Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (Economic Department) in cooperation with the Technical University Berlin and the Leibniz University Hannover and numerous other scientists from different universities and research institutions. Subject/main topics: "Natural Capital Germany - TEEB DE" focuses on nature's services at the national level. The main task is to produce four topic-based reports presenting the economic arguments  to support nature conservation, as a complement to ethical and ecological arguments (using the ecosystem service approach and existing case studies on the economic value of these services). Products:

• Introductory brochure (2012; German version; English version available at the end of 2015)

• Brochure for business (2013; only in German),

• Report on the contribution of nature and nature conservation to climate change mitigation and adaptation (2014, German version; English version of the summary for decision makers.

• Report on ecosystem services in rural areas (will be available in spring 2016)

• Report on ecosystem services in cities (will be available in spring 2016);

• Summary report with recommendations for a better integration of ecosystem services into private and public decision making (planned for the end of 2016).

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  •  Conservation of peat land in Germany, 2011 – 2014, final report in preparation. Subject/main topics: Development of indicators for different ecosystem services (carbon storage, nutrient retention, recreation, provisioning) of peat lands. Tools for the optimisation of peat land management.
  • Economic Effects of Ecosystem Services of Urban Green Spaces, 2012 – 2014, final report in preparation. Available articles (in English) on a) the effects of urban green and abandoned areas on residential well-being including economic values: and b) a hedonic pricing analysis of the housing market in cologne: Subject/main topics: Monetary value of urban green using the well-being approach, hedonic pricing method, travel cost method. Statistical analysis of supply with green spaces in German cities (distance and proportion in the neighbourhood). Recommendations for integration of ecosystem service knowledge into urban planning systems.
  • Valuation of Cultural Ecosystem Services in Germany, 2013 – 2016. Subject/main topics: Development of an indicator and mapping of the suitability of landscape for recreation on a national scale. Economic valuation of supply with recreation areas.

  B. Selected projects in the scientific community

(addressing the whole range of ecosystem services, without claiming for comprehensiveness and representativeness; activities of the private sector and NGOs are not included)

  • Scoping Study for a National Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services in Germany (NEA-DE). Authors: Interdisciplinary team at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ, Environmental Policy Department), supported by external scientists. 2013 – 2014. Final report in German language, executive summary in English and English presentation available online  Subject/main topics: design of an assessment , political and administrative pre-conditions, data availability, available knowledge, policy-relevant questions to be addressed, two options recommended for a modular implementation.

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  • Innovation network Ecosystem Services Germany - Ecosystem Services Partnership Germany (ESP-DE). Initiative of the scientific community. Objectives: new strategic partnerships between researchers and practitioners (civil society, policy, administration, business, science) to apply the concept of ecosystem services in favor of the protection and sustainable use of natural resources. Pooling and building knowledge.