Research 208: ESManage Project: Freshwater Ecosystem Services - An Introduction for Stakeholders

Authors: Hugh B. Feeley, Michael Bruen, Craig Bullock, Mike Christie,Fiona Kelly, Kyriaki Remoundou, Ewa Siwicka and Mary Kelly-Quinn

Summary: The objective of this project is to harness the knowledge and tools required to embed an appreciation of ecosystem services and the ecosystems services approach into policy and decision-making for sustainable management of water resources, as required by the Water Framework Directive

Published: 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84095-700-6

Pages: 32

Filesize: 1,228KB

Format: pdf

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Inform policy

The ESManage Literature Review for Stakeholders provides an overview of information on the ecosystem services framework, the role of biodiversity in ecosystem service provision, and how the concept aligns with the objectives of current policy and legislation to inform management of freshwater resources. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the key EU driver requiring Member States to improve and sustainably manage water quality. The specific benefits of incorporating the ecosystem services framework into the implementation of the WFD relate to illustrating how human wellbeing is dependent on good ecological health, biodiversity and widening the focus from good ecological status as an end in itself to showing how it supports societal goals. Additionally, it allows for the proper assessment and communication of the benefits and co-benefits of implementing the WFD, highlighting potential trade-offs involved in selecting cost-effective measures but also avoiding unintended impacts of measures on other benefits (not directly associated with the measure). Other relevant policy measures such as the EU Biodiversity Strategy aim to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restore them in so far as feasible.

Develop solutions

The ESManage Literature Review for Stakeholders highlights the types of ecosystem services, the main ecosystem services classification scheme known as CICES, and identifies the chain of knowledge required to get from basic science to policy application and the management of freshwater resources. This review provides an overview of the ESManage project approach to understanding the complex ecological linkages between the health and resilience of the ecosystem (critically dependent on biodiversity) and the provision of ecosystem services, goods and benefits for human wellbeing. It also highlights the importance of stakeholder involvement, and their perceptions, in incorporating ecosystem services into policy and water management.