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Published: 12 January 2016  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnvironmentBiodiversity
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Austria  |  Belgium  |  Bulgaria  |  Czech Republic  |  Finland  |  Germany  |  Hungary  |  Italy  |  Latvia  |  Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Portugal  |  Romania  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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Scientific support for managing biodiversity

EU-funded project ESMERALDA is developing ways to assess Europe's biodiverse ecosystems and their many contributions to society and the economy.

Picture of injured runner

© Anterovium - Fotolia.com

A reduction in biodiversity could affect Europe’s economic health and its high standard of living. Economic and population growth, changes in land use, intensive agriculture, pollution and climate change are some of the main factors that lead to biodiversity loss – reducing the ability of Europe’s ecosystems to sustain future generations.

For Europe the goals are clear – preserve the continent’s rich biodiversity and use biological resources sustainably. As part of this effort, ESMERALDA is developing methodologies, databases and tools for assessing biodiversity and the related ‘services’, or resources, that benefit society. Such services include, for example, the provision of drinking water, food, air and recreation.

The project’s methodologies will be designed as building blocks for pan-European and regional assessments of ecosystems and their services. The assessments are essential to informed decision-making by policymakers. The project will also develop an online data sharing platform to help coordinate European research on ecosystems. The platform will allow stakeholders to exchange information, data and methodologies.

ESMERALDA’s research supports the European Commission's Biodiversity Strategy 2020, which aims to prevent the loss of biological diversity. The project brings together scientists, experts and stakeholders from 25 partner organisations in 20 European countries.

Project details

  • Project acronym: ESMERALDA
  • Participants: Germany (Coordinator), Finland, Spain, UK, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Switzerland, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Austria, Poland, Sweden
  • Project reference: 642007
  • Total cost: € 3 133 306
  • EU contribution: € 3 002 166
  • Duration: February 2015 - August 2018

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  Botswana
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  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
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  Croatia
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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece