Saturday, September 29, 2012

Protecting Ecosystems Proves Beneficial for the Society

We all know that ecosystems are extremely important to the general well-being and integrity of the human race as they provide people with whatever they need  to live: food, clean air and fresh water. Apart from that, ecosystems can also be considered as some fine sources of the outdoor recreation opportunities.
The PEER Research on EcoSystem Services initiative brings closer the idea of how various EU policies can contribute to the increase of the benefits provided by ecosystems and  supports the inclusion of the ecosystem services approach into the European policy measures which affect the use or the condition of natural resources.
The outcomes of this research initiative were presented in September in Brussles to the international board of experts, helping DG Environment of the European Commission to introduce the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.
That plan includes, among others, giving the incentive to the Common Agricultural Policy and restoring wetlands, thereby improving water quality. Moreover, as bees and bumblebees are so important being the main pollinators, high resolution data of forests were used to map the ecosystems in which bees and bumblebees build nests and localize the flowers. The information of that kind is crucial to persuade farmers to protect these areas as they increase their agricultural output. The mapping and evaluating the possible ecosystem services are essential, yet not sufficient enough to obtain the ecosystem service targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
The rational and cost-efficient management of ecosystems should be also focused on those EU policies which influence ecosystems (both, directly and indirectly) i.e. the policies created to cause social and economic changes  (referring to agriculture, international trade, nature conservation and land use).

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