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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Make Biodiversity Worth to Save - ES plenary on Thursday

Today's plenary was buzzing around the hot topic of ecosystem services and their mappings. "Is ES concept a fair concept?" - asked A. Báldi in his introduction."No, it is anthropocentric and selfish, but we need this concept to make biodiversity visible to the society. As society does not consider biodiversity per se important, we have to build up ES concept to make it more apparent for the socie-economic systems". After Andras's talk,  Henrique M. Pereira shared thelessons from the Portugal Ecosystem Service Assessment. This work was included as regional assessment in the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. How it all began - strictly with involving the end-users (practitoners, decision-makers)  in the initial scoping phase - raising the same point  as Sir R. Watson yesterday: being demand-driven is a substantial feature of these assessments.

After the Portugal experiences, Georgina Mace talked about the novelilty of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK-NEA). Important points of the UK NEA  highlighted: 1) separating goods from ecosystem services and 2) considering biodiversity NOT as an ecosystem service, rather an aspect taken into account on many levels- ecosystem functions, ecosystem services and goods levels.
The scenario exercise showed that an ecosystem service-centred scenario is the optimal to reach human well-being while maximizing the preserved biodiversity.

Finally, Anne Teller from the DG Environment summarized the current EU processes.  According to the EU Biodiversity Strategy: “By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems”. Members states should complete their national ecosystem assessment by 2014 - well, an ambitious aim, but also a tool for pushing national governments.

Anne Teller and András Báldi at the SCB-ES booth

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