Word
Action number 22002 Last updated 03/02/2011 16:43:47 Year 2011
Title Biodiversity, Water and Ecosystem Services
Acronym BIOMES
Type Action
Url http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu
Institute JRC.H Institute for environment and sustainability (Ispra)
Leader CARDOSO Ana JRC.DDG.H.5   E-Mail
2 Solidarity and the responsible management of resources
2.2 Natural resources
European Environment Agency
Environment Agencies EU
Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission/ Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
Environment Ministries EU
Commission for the Protection of the North-East Atlantic Oslo-Paris Convention (OSPAR)
United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan
Customer DGs ENV - Environment
RTD - Research
Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Accounting, Spatial Mapping, Ecological and Economic Valuation, Ecosystem Modelling, Green Infrastructure, Aquatic-Terrestrial Interface, Floodplains, Riparian Areas, Rivers, Lakes, Coastal Transitional and Marine Waters, Adaptation to Climate Change, Balancing Water Uses, Alien Invasive Species, Bio-indicators, Ecological Water Quality, Intercalibration, Good Environmental Status Descriptors, Biodiversity Action Plan, Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Rationale
A new paradigm is necessary to describe how ecosystems and biodiversity are incorporated into societal decision-making, where natural resources are currently undervalued, and sometimes neglected. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the TEEB initiative (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, 2008, 2009) gave political acknowledgement to the concept of ecosystem services and advocate for a better understanding of the links between biodiversity, ecosystems services and human well-being. Recent data and assessments (e.g. SEBI2010 - Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators, Art. 17 reporting in the Habitats Directive, Red Lists of the International Union for Conservation of Nature) show that biodiversity continues to be under serious pressure and that, while some progress has been made, the EU 2010 target has not been met. Under conservative assumptions covering only terrestrial ecosystems, the COPI (The Cost of Policy Inaction, 2008) report estimated that the loss of welfare in 2050 from the cumulative loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services could be equal to 7% of global GDP. The most recent communication from the EU Commission on biodiversity (COM(2010) 4 final) recognises that the frequent undervaluation of ecosystem services is a significant cause underlying today’s biodiversity crisis. The ecosystem service concept is also one of the pillars of the planned Commission’s Blueprint for the future of European Waters addressing the environmental pathway of vulnerability of water ecosystems and the need to balance multiple uses of water. Assimilation of this concept calls for the economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services and its incorporation into policy making and implementation. This implies putting biodiversity and ecosystems at the centre of other sectoral policies, integrating them into the spatial planning for water and land, and making explicit the costs and benefits of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. The BIOMES Action aims to provide the scientific basis for this integration of policies, with a focus on mapping ecosystem services, developing robust modelling approaches that evaluate ecosystem dynamics and simulations of future scenarios, and providing support to EU nature and water policies which have ecosystem-based management targets.
Summary of the activity
The BIOMES Action will strengthen ongoing research on biodiversity and ecosystem assessment, focus on anticipatory research on water ecosystems and improve the capacity to model ecosystem dynamics at the interface of aquatic and terrestrial environments. Scientific topics that will be addressed by the Action include the role of biodiversity in underpinning ecosystem services, the adaptation of ecosystems and biodiversity to climate change and other drivers of biodiversity loss (e.g. alien species, nutrient pollution), and the spatial function of green and blue infrastructure. The work on ecosystem service mapping will continue in 2011, delivering European scaled maps of ecosystem services which are essentially based on spatial indicators for ecosystem services that are statistically coupled to land cover and land use patterns. The focus is on defining indicators and mapping ecosystem services in biophysical terms and on the link with economic valuation in order to develop science-based methodologies for the assessment of the costs and benefits to humans and ecosystems of conservation activities. Building on existing model chains (bio-geochemical and hydrological), the Action will continue working on ecosystem modelling for the implementation of an eco-hydrological approach to the assessment of impacts on the river-floodplains-estuarine-coastal continuum. New focus will be on modelling the services provided by these ecosystems and the identification of tipping points.
The Action will support Commission initiatives in the development of a post 2010 biodiversity policy framework to help set priorities within the field of biodiversity conservation in the EU. The Action will partner policy DGs to implement targets of the Commission’s Blueprint for the future of European Waters: it will provide support to EU Directives protecting the ecosystem functions of inland and marine waters (Water Framework Directive-WFD and Marine Strategy Framework Directive-MSFD) with a focus on intercalibration for the definition of good ecological status, assessment of balance among multiple water uses and demands, improving the integration of water related policies into other legislation (for example legislation on biodiversity, climate change, energy), and carry out research on how aquatic ecosystems adapt to climate change.
The BIOMES Action will contribute to the JRC Strategy on Climate Change, Maritime Affairs and to GMES. It will collaborate and benefit from interactions with other JRC Actions (MAPLE, MONDE, PROCAS, ENSURE, DESERT, WQM) in light of the need for strengthened cooperation for the achievement of the 2013 milestones of the JRC Thematic Area 3, namely the strategic scientific objectives on “Prospects on Water”, “Science for a stronger biodiversity policy”, and “Integrated modelling platform for sustainability assessment”.


International activities
* Support the establishment of the IPBES (Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services); collaboration with TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), an international network of ecologists and economists under the patronage of the Commission, and with UNEP in the assessment of the economic costs of biodiversity decline and the costs and benefits of actions to reduce these losses.
* A Mediterranean focus in the context of the Commission Environment Strategy for the Mediterranean (COM(2006) 475), the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Barcelona Convention, involving Candidate and Neighbouring Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Team up with MEDPOL, with the European Federation of Coastal Lagoons and with the European Technology Platform for Water (WssTP) for demonstration cases in Mediterranean coastal regions.
* Coordination of European networks of competent authorities and national laboratories from EU27 Member States and Candidate Countries involved in the Water Framework Directive Intercalibration and in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
 
  1
Mapping and assessing the provision of ecosystem services including their economic valuation, in support of the new European Biodiversity Action Plan.
Deliverable  1.1
Geo-spatial database for European ecosystem service mapping and assessment: Atlas of Ecosystem Services (updating the database for agricultural and freshwater ecosystems) (link to the project PRESS (PEER Research on Ecosystem Services) in collaboration with PEER (Partnership for European Environmental Research)).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  1.2
Technical report on the methodology and the results of the biophysical mapping, with special relevance to outdoor recreation, pollination and water purification services (partly supported by an AA with DG ENV).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  1.3
Progress report on the development of a spatial economic ecosystem service valuation methodology as a tool for assessing the benefits derived from ecosystems.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  1.4
Scientific paper describing the synergies and tradeoffs between ecosystem services and biodiversity at European scale.
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  1.5
Report on common methodologies for global ecosystem services assessments (in collaboration with Action MONDE).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  1.6
Contribution to the report with final scenarios about sustainable livelihood and biodiversity (link to the European FP7 project LiveDiverse (Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity in Developing Countries)).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  1.7
Report of a Workshop gathering experts from Enlargement and Integration countries to develop a joint work plan contributing to the preparation of an Atlas of Ecosystem Services. (Enlargement and Integration Activity).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
  2
Analysis of spatial changes in biodiversity and mapping of green infrastructure.
Deliverable  2.1
Database of Riparian Zones for Continental Europe: a GIS-based database with a probability map of Riparian Areas and Stream Managed Zones distribution throughout Europe. The attributes of the areas are related to Land Cover - Land Use type, and Vegetation categories/Habitat type.
30/06/2011
CAT5 - Other policy support products and services
Deliverable  2.2
Scientific report on GIS and remote sensing-based cost-effective techniques to map and assess Riparian Zones, with an emphasis on the connectivity of these zones.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  2.3
Final report on the application of phenology-based landscape indicators as contribution to the global biodiversity monitoring framework (link to the project European FP7 project EBONE (European Biodiversity Observation Network); relevant to GMES).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  2.4
Database of European freshwater and marine alien species.
30/06/2011
CAT5 - Other policy support products and services
Deliverable  2.5
Online portal for information on aquatic alien species in Europe.
31/12/2011
CAT5 - Other policy support products and services
Deliverable  2.6
Report on freshwater alien species' distribution in Europe (link to the European FP7 project BioFresh (Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Status, Trends, Pressures, and Conservation Priorities) as a contribution to the Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
  3
Modeling-based assessments from source to sea of ecological quality, ecosystem services and tipping points.
Deliverable  3.1
Manuscript reviewing research on ecosystem resilience or tipping points in aquatic ecosystems in relation to climate change and other pressures, with particular focus on integrated ecological indicators for assessing shifts in ecosystem functioning and services (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling, fish production) in response to environmental changes.
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  3.2
Progress report on the testing of a model which simulates how drivers of change affect ecological and ecosystem processes, tipping points and food-web links to ecosystem services.
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  3.3
Draft report on the extension of the Clime Maps simulating changes in the physical parameters of European lakes (lake surface temperature, mixing depth, ice breakup time and duration) for four lake types (combinations of large/small and deep/shallow) to modeling of associated ecological status changes.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  3.4
Progress report on a model simulation of the hydrology and biogeochemistry of streams in large European watersheds: Link to the provision of ecosystem services (water purification).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  3.5
Report on the evaluation of an existing hydro-ecological model (river Strahler) and its potential application for an assessment of impacts on the river-floodplains-estuarine-coastal continuum: focus on water chemistry, low flow conditions and water temperature and their potential impacts on eutrophication.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  3.6
Development of scenarios as a means to reduce nutrient loads to freshwater and coastal ecosystems (FATE scenarios).
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
  4
An outlook on vulnerability and adaptation of water ecosystems including an analysis of options for balancing multiple water uses.
Deliverable  4.1
Report addressing the competition among water uses (nature, food, people, industry, energy), and the effects of water scarcity and the sequence of dry and wet periods on aquatic ecosystem functions and services (Dry Environmental Triggers).
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  4.2
Report of a pan-European assessment of the contribution of freshwater ecosystems in delivering key services including water provision, water purification and water retention and regulation.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  4.3
Report on best-practice strategies under various future scenarios for different aquatic ecosystem types across different European eco-regions, highlighting management options based on predicted effects and cost-effectiveness of response (link to the project REFRESH, relevant to the Clearinghouse adaptation to climate change).
01/07/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
  5
Understand the functioning of European coastal areas (with special focus on the Mediterranean region).
Deliverable  5.1
Report on methodology for delineation of European coastal lands, based on ecological, topographical, land-cover characteristics.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  5.2
Progress report on a preliminary assessment of coastal and marine ecosystem services (Mediterranean and Black Sea), including spatial units for a marine ecosystem assessment, and indicators for mapping of services (link to the project PEGASO).
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
Deliverable  5.3
Report on linking research to policy in the water sector based on the conference results (link to the FP7 project AWARE (How to achieve sustainable water ecosystems management connecting research, people and policy makers in Europe).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Deliverable  5.4
Briefing on the coastal protection service along Europe and practical approaches to assess other coastal/marine ecosystem services (link to the EEA marine/maritime ecosystem assessment in the context of EURECA - the European Ecosystem Assessment).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
  6
Establish ecological environmental objectives for European waters.
  6.1
To evaluate the needs of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) intercalibration exercise beyond 2011.
Report on options for further EU level development of environmental objective-setting according to the WFD taking in consideration current achievements (in relation to the Commission's 'Blueprint to Safeguard European Waters').
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
  6.2
To complete the work laid down in the Mandate to the Working Group A ECOSTAT (2010-2012) and agreed by the EU Water Directors in support of the implementation of the WFD's harmonised/ intercalibrated criteria for high and good ecological quality (EEWAI). This involves steering and coordinating large networks of experts [support to DG Environment, the European Environment Agency, and competent environment authorities for implementation of the WFD in the Member States and Candidate Countries and the broader scientific community].
Progress reports on the technical work of the second phase of the WFD intercalibration exercise for coastal and transitional waters, lakes and rivers delivered to the ECOSTAT Working Group.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Technical report on intercalibration across water categories (lakes, rivers, coastal and transitional waters), including a European overview of ecological assessment methods, reference conditions-setting, approaches for boundary setting and intercalibration, and comparability of results.
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Draft EC Decision on Intercalibration results across water categories (lakes, rivers and coastal and transitional waters).
31/12/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
Manuscript on the overview of the Transitional Waters ecological assessment methods in the European Union (from Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science (ECSA) presentation).
31/12/2011
CAT7 - Scientific publications
  6.3
To provide scientific and technical support to the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
Evaluation of concepts and options for effective and targeted monitoring ensuring consistency and comparability across all European Seas (in collaboration with MAPLE and PROCAS and linked to AA with DG ENV in the context of the implementation of the MSFD).
31/03/2011
CAT2 - Policy support documents
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