The significance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems and the services they deliver has increasingly been acknowledged and fostered by policy initiatives, such as the EU Biodiversity Strategies 2020 and 2030, the Greeln Deal, IPBES, IPCC, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Importantly, research has created a knowledge base to better understand human-nature interactions at the base of ecosystem services (ES) supply. The EU initiative on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) has provided the conceptual, methodological and data base for comprehensive analyses that produce information that can be harnessed to support protection, restoration and sustainable as well as climate-neutral use of ecosystems and their services in the EU by 2030.
In an effort to improve the uptake of ES-related scientific outcomes by decision-makers in business and in policy, the EU Horizon project SELINA will integrate the different MAES components (mapping of ecosystem types, condition, and services, as well as ecosystem accounting), link them to specific EU biodiversity policies, and provide actionable, fit-for-purpose recommendations in the form of a Compendium of Guidance suitable for different stakeholders.
"With the SELINA project, we now have the appropriate framework to combine findings from science on ecosystems and their services and then make them specifically usable to support sustainable decisions in the public and private sectors," explains Prof. Dr. Benjamin Burkhard from Leibniz University Hannover, Germany, who is coordinating the project.
SELINA (Science for Evidence-based and sustainabLe decisIons about NAtural capital) has been awarded 13 million euros in EU funding to achieve this ambitious goal and the project is expected to run for five years. With a consortium of 50 partners from all 27 EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, Israel and the United Kingdom, it offers an unprecedented opportunity for international cooperation and transdisciplinary knowledge-sharing.
The project’s official Kick-off Meeting was held in Hannover from September 14 to 17, 2022, and it brought together leading experts on biodiversity and ecosystem science, ecosystem services and accounting, as well as experts on business- and policy-related decision making and science-policy-business interfaces from related actions.
For more information on the SELINA project, visit www.project-selina.eu.