A) Core MAES activities and research projects:

1. The Spanish National Ecosystem Assessment

The Spanish National Ecosystem Assessment (SNEA), began in 2009, completed its biophysical evaluation in 2012 (Sythesis report). This project included an assessment of the condition of the Spanish ecosystems and biodiversity, a future scenario exercise and a spatial explicit analysis on biodiversity, ecosystem services, land use change and socioeconomic variables. From 2012-2014 SNEA developed an economic valuation of a selection of ecosystem services at national level (Sythesis report) including three main methodologies: (1)  a systematic review and meta-analysis studies of existing economic valuations studies in Spain; (2) mapping and valuation of 5 ecosystem services based on market based methods; and (3) a  choice experiment to assess the socio-economic valuation taking into account the use and non-use values of biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

During the different phases, the project has involved about 60 scientists from biophysical and social sciences from more than 20 universities and research centres. The Spanish National Ecosystem Assessment has actively contributed to the accomplishment of all the actions identified in collaboration with the Ministry for Ecological Transition to provide answers in regards the EU Biodiversity Strategy Target 2, Action 5 process


ESMERALDA (Enhancing ecoSysteM sERvices mApping for poLicy and Decision mAking) aimed to deliver a flexible methodology to provide the building blocks for pan-European and regional assessments (http://www.esmeralda-project.eu/). The work done in each Member State ensure the timely delivery to EU member states in relation to Action 5 of the BD Strategy, supporting the needs of assessments in relation to the requirements for planning, agriculture, climate, water and nature policy.

For additional information see the ESMERALDA Spanish country fact sheet

3. Assessment of marine ecosystem services within the INTEMARES project 

Within the framework of the LIFE Integrated Project INTEMARES, an assessment of the state of ecosystems and their services within the Natura 2000 marine network is currently on the way. In this context, a mapping and economic valuation of four different services is being conducted. This mapping and valuation will contribute to improve the perception of services from marine ecosystems and advance in their integration in the policy on the marine strategy, the management of maritime space and compliance with Action 5 of the EU Strategy on Biodiversity for 2020, particularly for marine ecosystems.

4. MAIA Project

With regard to natural accounting, the Ministry for Ecological Transition in Spain and the Spanish National Statistical Office have supported the ‘MAIA project: from Mapping and Assessment to Integrated ecosystem Accounting’. The project aims to develop and implement natural capital accounts following the methodology of the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) – Experimental Ecosystem Accounting. The 2012 SEEA EEA framework and the forthcoming SEEA EEA Technical Recommendations will be used as a starting point to test ecosystem accounting. In addition, the project will test how experiences in the EU with mapping and modelling ecosystem services can be used in support of ecosystem accounting in the EU.

B) Other relevant activities:

1. Integration of results in the Spanish National strategy on Green Infrastructure

The above work and results are contributing to the work on the National Strategy on Green Infrastructure, Connectivity and Ecological Restoration, in particular for maintaining and improving the provision of ecosystem services of the elements linked to the development of green infrastructure.

2. The Ecosystem Service Partnership in Spain

The Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP) connects over 3000 ecosystem services scientists, policy makers and practitioners who work together in more than 40 Working Groups and a growing number of National Networks on all continents. ESP regularly organises World and Regional conferences and provides many Services to further enhance the application of ecosystem services for nature conservation, ecosystem restoration and sustainable management.

For additional information see ESP-Spain national working group.

3. Participation in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES):

The objective of IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, is to provide Governments, the private sector, and civil society with scientifically credible and independent up-to-date assessments of available knowledge to make informed decisions at the local, regional and international levels. This regional and sub-regional assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia has been carried out by 111 selected authors. Some of this authors were Spanish and brought the experience done in SNEA to the Europe and Central Asia region and sub-regions. For further information see the full report.