All news

COSTING THE EARTH? – translating the ecosystem services concept into practical decision making, May 2017

EU LIFE Programme together with LIFE Viva Grass project held an Ecosystem Services Platform meeting “COSTING THE EARTH? – translating the ecosystem services concept into practical decision making” from 10th to 12th of May in Tallinn, Estonia.

Thank you for your contribution!


Presentations from the event are available and downloadable here:


Heidrun Fammler, Baltic Environmental Forum
Introduction to the event

Marko Pomerants, Minister of the Environment, Estonia
Opening address

Jakub Wejchert, European Commission DG Environment, Biodiversity Unit
Where do we stand with the ecosystem services (ES) concept in the EU

Rob Bugter, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Alterra, Netherlands
Is the policy working? What progress has been made and how do we measure success?

Lauri Klein, Estonian Environment Agency
Small but Beautiful. The challenges of implementing the ES concept in Estonia.

Laszlo Becsy, European Commission DG Environment, LIFE Unit
The role of the LIFE programme in advancing the ecosystem services concept – assessing ecosystem services in LIFE projects

Christian Strasser, European Commission DG Environment, Deputy Head of LIFE Unit
LIFE – what is going on at the programme level?

José María Fernández García, HAZI Foundation
LIFE11 NAT/ES/707 Tremedal and LIFE11 NAT/ES/704 Ordunte Sostenible. Application of the Tessa tool in LIFE Nature

Peter Long, Biodiversity Institute, the University of Oxford, UK
LIFE12 ENV/UK/473 NaturEtrade, a tool to monitor the loss of ecosystem services and an innovative trading platform for halting ES loss

Žymantas Morkvėnas, Baltic Environmental Forum, Lithuania
LIFE13 ENV/LT/189 Viva Grass, the Integrated Planning Tool for grassland management


Panayotis Dimopoulos, University of Patras, Greece
Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services at different spatial scales

Michael MacDonald, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Jenny Merriman, Birdlife International
Valuing ecosystem services at the project level: what do we want to achieve and how best to go about it

Marc Metzger, School of Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh, UK
Overview of the ecosystem services concept in decision making

Defining/Mapping ES
Valuing ES
Applying ES in decision making
Migueal Villoslada, Viva Grass (LIFE13 ENV/LT/189)
Viva Grass experience: mapping and identifying grassland ES
Jane Lusardi, Cumbrian Bogs (LIFE13 NAT/UK/443)
Valuing social and cultural ES
Soledad Vivas, LIFE Blue Natura (LIFE14 CCM/ES/957)
Blue carbon sink, policies to mitigate climate change and influence regional law on climate change
Luc Geelen, Amsterdam Dune Project (LIFE11 NAT/NL/776)
A scan tool for ES from water extraction, nature conservation, recreation, coastal protection and raw material
Claudio Marciano, PAN LIFE (LIFE 13 NAT/IT/1075)
Evaluation of Ecosystem Services of Natura 2000 sites in Calabra
Miia Parviainen, LIFEPeatLandUse (LIFE12 ENV/FI/150)
Predictive modelling of ES after peat land re-use, trade-off calculation and decision support tool development
Francesca Ugolini, SOS4LIFE (LIFE15 ENV/IT/225)
Assessment/mapping of soil-related ES
Michalis Probonas, LIFE Natura2000ValueCrete (LIFE13 INF/GR/188)
The ecological services, social benefits and economic value of ES in Natura 2000 sites in Crete
Simonetta Alberico, LIFE SAM4CP (LIFE13 ENV/IT/1218)
Development of a digital simulator for good planning and promotion of land use practices that preserve the ecosystem functions of soils
David Vačkář, CzechGlobe ESMERALDA
Integrated mapping and assessment of ecosystem services: examples from the Czech Republic
Kathleen Mercken, LIFE in Quarries (LIFE14 NAT/BE/000364)
Identification of ES in quarries; monitoring and evaluation of ES significance of quarries in the landscape
Paul Sizeland, EcoCoLIFE (LIFE13 BIO/UK/428)
Ecological coherence and ES and how they can be used to influence planning and policy decisions
Outi Wahlroos, Urban Oases (LIFE11 ENV/FI/000911)
The establishment, monitoring and valuation of ecosystem services of stormwater wetlands: a case study from Finland
Giampiero Mazzocchi, Making Good Natura
Qualitative and quantitative valuation of ES and innovative models for financing including Payment for ES (PES)
Pieter de Corte, GREEN4GREY (LIFE13 ENV/BE/212)
A multifunctional green and blue infrastructure in peri-urban areas and participative design
Rut Aspizua, Adaptamed (LIFE14 CCA/ES/000612)
Assessing key services in Mediterranean socio-ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Inga Hoņavko, Ecosystem Services (LIFE13 ENV/LV/000839)
Economic valuation of ecosystem services for implementation areas
Rob Bugter, Wageningen University and Research Centre,
Perceptions of biodiversity, ecosystem services and
values at the national level

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Kai Klein:

Please find also:
Technical information (logistics and tips)
Briefing document about the event
Summary of LIFE projects presented at the meeting
List of participants

Despite widespread conservation efforts there is a growing argument that traditional approaches have failed to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. One potential solution, increasing in popularity as well as generating controversy, is to assign values to the benefits that ecosystems provide for humanity (ecosystem services), and to incorporate these into conservation and management decision-making.

Target 2 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 seeks to maintain and restore ecosystems and their services across the member states with obvious shared benefits in relation to climate change and the wider environment. In October 2015, the European Commission published a Mid Term Review of the Strategy’. The report concluded that progress has been made on policy and knowledge improvement actions under this target and some restoration activities have taken place in Member States. However, this has not yet halted the trend of degradation of ecosystems and their services.

This Platform Meeting, hosted by the Baltic Environmental Forum under the auspices of the LIFE 13 Viva Grass Project*, will showcase a variety of restoration techniques, innovative approaches to improving our knowledge and understanding of ecosystem services, new management initiatives and governance challenges facing the member states. The event will provide answers and solutions which may be instrumental in overcoming some of the key barriers and bottlenecks to halting biodiversity loss throughout Europe.

The project-based approach of the EU LIFE programme has proved a good fit with nature conservation policies, providing practical examples of sustainable and equitable ways of maintaining and restoring ecosystems. We have organised our meeting around three key themes:

  • Defining/mapping ecosystem services: we explore the role that LIFE projects play in developing, testing and applying different tools and methods.
  • Valuing ecosystem services: we will discuss the methods developed for valuation, outcomes and findings from valuations, barriers and look at some practical examples from LIFE projects.
  • Application of the ecosystem services concept in decision making: how can we take the lessons learnt from the LIFE projects and use the results to inform policy.

Our meeting will explore these three themes, visit locations in Estonia where we can see examples of issues relating to ecosystem services in both the rural and urban environments, and see some practical solutions. In the workshop sessions, we intend to explore common solutions and practices. Our conclusions will be transmitted to the Natural Capital Directorate in the European Commission’s DG Environment and other relevant policymakers.

*Viva Grass aims to support maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by grasslands, through encouraging ecosystem based approach to planning and economically viable grassland management.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

− seven = 1