Evaluation of ecosystem services

The clarification of benefits provided by ecosystems for people and the honest, rational and without emotions, weighing of their values, assists in a monetary based world, to make more just decisions, shape a more conserving policy, as well as curb the deterioration of the condition of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity.

Ecosystem services are usually divided into three classes:

  1. Providing, including production services, which people receive from the ecosystem. For example as food, water, wood and other materials.
  2. Regulatory and preserving services. For example, cycling of substances, soil formation, photosynthesis, habitats and services that affect the climate, as well as water, air and soil quality, water supply and floods, as well as pollination.
  3. Cultural, including recreational services, through which nature offers aesthetic and mental pleasure, relaxation and new scientific knowledge.

We will further develop and implement, on the water bodies included in the project, the methodology from 2016 for determining and mapping ecosystem services of Estonian inland waters, which was developed in cooperation with the Centre for Transboundary Cooperation, the Tallinn University, Estonian University of Life Sciences, University of Tartu, the Environment Agency and SEI Tallinn.

We will use the developed methodology for mapping, for the water bodies included in the project, the offers, consumption and value of ecosystem services, for a total of three times - before the start of other activities of the project, in the middle of the project and after realisation of the remaining activities of the project. The aim is to determine how the offer, consumption and value of ecosystem services, of the examined water bodies, changes as a result of the project’s activities.

The methodology used, for mapping the offering and consumption of ecosystem services, will be introduced in the framework of the LIFE IP CleanEST project, by the methodology used to assess ecosystem services (in English).