Around 70 representatives of 25 partner organisations from 20 European countries met at the University of Kiel in Germany on May 5-7 for the opening meeting of the new Horizon 2020 cooperation project ESMERALDA (Enhancing Ecosystem Services Mapping for Policy and Decision Making).
The mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services, which comprise the core of the EU's Biodiversity Strategy, are essential in order to make informed decisions. Action 5 of the strategy calls for an EU-wide knowledge base to be designed as a primary data source for developing Europe's green infrastructure, a resource to identify areas for ecosystem restoration, and a baseline against which the goal of "no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services" can be evaluated.
Project activities will focus on creating and delivering a flexible methodology to provide the building blocks for pan-European and regional assessments. The work will ensure timely delivery to EU member states in relation to Action 5 of the Biodiversity Strategy, supporting assessments in relation to requirements for planning, agriculture, climate, water and nature policy.
The launch event in Kiel will be followed by a series of workshops throughout the duration of the project. The next meeting will be held in October 2015 in Riga, Latvia.
The ESMERALDA project is led by the University of Kiel. The REC will play an active role in stakeholder involvement and dialogue and will also carry out dissemination activities.
More information can be found on the ESMERALDA project web page.