Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission


JRC-IES is part of PEER, the Partnership for European Environmental Research© PEER, 2012

New case studies on how ecosystems benefit society


A new report published today by a consortium of Environmental Research Institutes, including the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability, provides case studies on scenarios and monetary valuation for ecosystem services, which are services received from nature, such as clean water. The focus is on water purification, outdoor recreation and pollination. In addition, it provides a literature based policy analysis on how EU policies affect the supply of ecosystem services or may lead to trade-offs.

With the case studies, the aim is to illustrate how current knowledge and data can be combined to estimate biophysical flows of ecosystem services, their associated benefits and the social and economic values.

This synthesis report is an output of the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER), which involves seven major public environmental research centres in Europe and pursues a joint scientific strategy to support the achievement of ecological sustainability.

In this specific case, the PRESS initiative stands for PEER Research on EcoSystem Services and the objective is to promote a better understanding of how ecosystems and biodiversity provide essential benefits to our society.

Phase 1 of the PRESS project

PRESS-1 addressed some of the knowledge gaps which stand in the way of performing a spatially-explicit, biophysical, monetary and policy assessment of ecosystem services. It delivered models for mapping at different spatial scales the role of ecosystems to purify water or provide recreation to citizens. It also demonstrated how the introduction of the ecosystem services concept into the biodiversity policy resulted in synergies and trade-offs with other policies, such as agricultural or fisheries.