The assessment of ecosystems and their services is an added value of LIFE projects. The assessment results helps explaining better to the general public and stakeholders the multiple benefits of LIFE projects in connection to society and the economy with which they interface. This understanding also supports the importance to society of investing in LIFE projects.
For many LIFE projects, carrying out an ecosystem services assessment is a novelty and a challenge. During a LIFE platform meeting on ecosystem services, organised in Estonia in May 2017 and attended by LIFE projects financed in all strands, it became evident that there is a great level of heterogeneity in the way in which LIFE projects were assessing ecosystem services. The need for guidance on this task was therefore considered.
This document responds to that need. It clarifies key concepts and offers an easy method to implement ecosystem services assessments according to the analytical framework developed under the EU Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) initiative. Some guidance on how to complete the relevant sections in the KPI Webtool is also given.
Download: Assessing ecosystems and their services: a guide for LIFE projects