WG6 – Natural capital, ecosystem functions and services quantification

WG6 – Natural capital, ecosystem functions and services quantification

Description of the WG6

The main goal of this WG is to bring out the link between ecosystems and human well-being and to identify possible gaps of knowledge among different stakeholders as well as strategies to overcome them. The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) highlights the relationships between  ecosystems and human economy. ES are generated by the natural capital. Natural capital concept refers to ability of the environment to support human life through production. Natural capital includes both nonrenewable and renewable resources generating ecosystem services and other life-supporting functions (De Groot, 1992; 13
Daily,1997). As a consequence, the conservation, restoration and management of natural capital stocks is crucial to ensure a continuous and sustainable provision of ES over time. This WG is connected with all other WGs.

Activity 1

Literature review on this MAF topic. Tasks: a. Review of the scientific literature regarding the ecological functions and the ecosystem services provided by MAF and their contribution to human well-being. b. Review of value assessments already performed. c. Assessment of the value of different components / aspects of MAF’s value according to existing literature. d. Organise and classify concepts for literature review. e. Writing and submission of a manuscript to publish according to COST requirements of High Impact Standards Review.

Activity 2

Workshop on Natural capital, ecosystem functions and services quantification. Tasks: a. Identify best practices and protocols. b. Realise the value assessment of MAF in terms of natural capital and ecosystem services from both a biophysical / ecologic and economic perspective. c. Expert involvement from different disciplines in the identification of the best solutions to be applied.

Activity 3

Training school of Environment and Economics. Tasks: a. Selection of graduate students from both the ecological and the economic sciences (e.g. territorial managers, tourist operators, scientists) b. Train them with multidisciplinary tools and methodologies to assess natural capital and ecosystem services valuation and their inclusion in decision-making processes. c. In particular the School will be aiming for the integration of different knowledge and disciplines with which to bridge the gap between ecology and economy and put in practice the ecosystem services theory. d. Develop proposal for an STSM with WG1 and conduct the monitoring, evaluation and follow-up of the activity.