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PILOT 6: Ecosystem services evaluation

Leader: Slovak Environment Agency – SAŽP
Contact person: Ing. Martin Tuchyňa,


EcoSystem Services (ESS) represents the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to the human well-being. Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 calls Member States to map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services in their national territory. Pilot aims to provide in connection to the Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Service (MAES) activities the common interface facilitating the access and exchange of the knowledge and resources related to the topic of ESS with the possibility to visualise the ecosystem services values for particular location of the interest on national level with the potential for re-use in other countries or for links to EU level.

End-user demand

At this moment, the main user demand comes from research and public sector domain, mainly from authorities involved into the activities related to the implementation of the Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

When completed by the 2020 target, the mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services , and the valuation and accounting work will allow public decision – makers and private – sector stakeholders to better understand how our economy and society depend on healthy, resilient and productive ecosystems and to ensure that inter-dependencies between human activities and ecosystem condition are adequately taken into account in planning and decision making at all levels.

At the same time methodologies and input and output data can be of wide use also for the national and local activities driven by the non-governmental sector aiming to improve the quality of the life as well as strengthen the governance transparency via participatory approach (Open government participation OGP).

In case of Slovakia, set of possible target stakeholders have been identified during the collection of the user requirements process. They cover all main types of authorities (SK MAES Working Gropu) and individuals with representation from public sector, through private, R&D, non governmental authorities to the citizens.

1) Selection of EcoSystem Services (ESS)

ESS selection was based on:

  • Available data sources
  • Requirement to present ESS diversity
  • Pilot scope

Selected ESS:

  1. Wood (paper pulp) production
  2. Number of livestock per hectare of pasture
  3. Carbon sequestration based on land types
  4. Landscape quality from tourism perspective
  5. Biodiversity
  6. Overall assesment of ecosystem services

2) Defining the methodology for data processing (ESS process model)

ESS Layers Types:

  • Basic layers express volume of the benefits provided by a given ecosystem service in physical units as they were evaluated. E.g. m3 of wood (paper pulp) or m3 of carbon in the layer of carbon sequestration in different types of landscape.
  • Normalized layers are created based on the basic layers of evaluated ESS by the values in the individual layers have been transformed (normalized) to the range between 0-1. Such normalizing by very simple method allows qualitatively compare and merge different layers.

Ecosystem services evaluation

Geoserver Layer Preview

Direct access: Geoserver Layer Preview

Initial SK Pilot app

Initial SK Pilot app (link)

Second version of SK Pilot app

Second version of SK Pilot app

Further details about the second version development.

Further development

Following activities will be related to the closer alignment with the end user demand and addressing the challenges identified during the MAES Delivery Workshop organized in Brussels on 15-16 December 2015, particularly in area of:

  • strengthening  and  using  the  knowledge  base  on  biodiversity  and  ecosystem  services  in  order to contribute  to halting biodiversity  loss  and  reach  the  EU  2020  biodiversity  target
  • where possible re-use the activities and their outcomes already done via ESP-VT and DRDSI and Openness projects.

Development will therefore focus on:

  • User and resources management
  • Extended publication of the resources (via webinterface of CMS, via web services, API)
  • Full multilingual support (SK+EN)
  • Wider use of SDI4Apps enablers
  • Extended support for data processing (OGC WPS)
  • Enrichment with linked data
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