1. Introduction & Objectives
Currently we see many studies, which focus on mapping, modelling and valuing a set of ecosystem services for a specific region or nation. For example the EU member states are asked to map ecosystem services in the framework of the Biodiversity Strategy 2020. Quite frequently those activities chose the political border as their system boundaries assuming that the regions are closed. However, those regions are typically open with respect to fluxes of matter, energy and information. Regional studies often neglect the dependence on “overseas” ecosystem services, the ecosystem service impact of traded commodities and thus teleconnections between regions (Fig. 1). Some of these interactions between regions are directly embedded in trade flows, others cascade more indirectly through the socio-economic system. Ultimately policies aiming at enhancing ecosystem services in one region should not lead to ecosystem damage elsewhere. Open research questions are related to (i) goal and scope of assessments of interregional ES flows, (ii) practical guidelines for their biophysical quantification and (iii) for their evaluation in terms of benefits and damages.
Aim: This working group aims at elaborating methods how to complement regional assessments of ecosystem services with a global assessment of ecosystem flows to and from a specific region. This requires close collaboration with the scientific community working on material flow analysis of trade, embodied water and land, environmental footprints as well as life cycle assessment.
2. Lead Team & Members
- Thomas Koellner, Universität Bayreuth
- Peter Verburg, IvM-VU, The Netherlands
- Nynke Schulp, IvM-VU, The Netherlands
- Matthias Schröter, iDiv, Germany
- Jessica Gabski, Universität Bayreuth (Support)
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lead team, please contact the current lead team members.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this Working group, please click here. In addition send a brief statement of related own research, your motivation and potential contribution to TWG 11 to the lead team.
3. Activities and Outputs
The output of this working group will be a joint framework and advancing methodologies to complement regional ecosystem services studies with a global assessment of flows of ES. Towards this goal workshops organized at host institutes, sessions at the conferences of the ES Partnership as well as papers and special issues in peer reviewed journals are planned.
Thematic working group meetings organized:
- European Ecosystem Services Conference (Sep 19-23, 2016, Antwerp, Belgium). Session T2. Global ecosystem service flows. Please submit abstracts via the conference homepage
- European Ecosystem Services Conference (Sep 19-23, 2016, Antwerp, Belgium). Complementary to T2 the interactive session P16 “Options to secure ecosystem services in the EU external footprint” allows an open discussion between science, policy, NGOs and business.
4. Related Networks and Projects
- iDiv working group: sTeleBES: Telecoupled use of biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Global Footprint Network: Through the National Footprint Accounts also biocapacity embodied in resource flows are mapped
- The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity: TEEB has organized a workshop The Impact of Consumption on Ecosystems and Biodiversity Beyond Borders – A TEEB Perspective – more details >>