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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.

3) Final development

Third year of the EcoSystem Services (ESS) Evaluation Pilot 6 development was focused on coverage of remaining identified user requirements, particularly in the area of provision of:

  • ESS Evaluation Portal
  • ESS Evaluation App
  • Provision of ESS relevant webservices
ESS Evaluation Portal

In order to support the members of the MAES SK Working group involved in the activity of the Ecosystem assessment process in Slovakia, which aims to contribute to fulfilment of the Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 set of SDI4Apps datasets and platform components have been re-used in order to develop and maintain EcoSystem Services Evaluation Portal (ESS Evaluation Portal). Portal provides an collaborative platform, allowing possibilities to discover, access, share and consult information resources related to the ESS.

During the third phase of SDI4Apps project implementation, the following functional requirements were addressed within the user community for the ESS Evaluation Portal:

  • Users and resources (spatial and non-spatial) management
  • Extended publication of data and service resources (Via webinterface of a GeoCMS, or via Application Programming Interfaces – APIs)
  • Re-use of SDI4Apps and other thematically related datasets with open license
  • Support for maps creation and documents sharing
  • Wider use of SDI4Apps enablers

Portal provides two levels for user and one admin access level. First public access level provides the functionality for search and view of the information resources made available.

ESS evaluation portal (screenshot)

ESS evaluation portal (screenshot)

ESS Evaluation App

Second Ecosystem Services Evaluation App (ESS Evaluation App) application developed within the SK ESS pilot is focused on combination of various external and SDI4Apps geospatial web services and advanced visualisation of the ecosystem services related information.

During the last phase of SDI4Apps project implementation, following functional requirements were addressed within the ESS Evaluation App:

  • Integration of heterogenous web service resources (Via Application Programming Interface API)
  • Re-use of SDI4Apps and other datasets with open license
  • Visualisation
  • Enrichment with linked data
  • Multilingual support
ESS evaluation app (screenshot)

ESS evaluation app (screenshot)

Provision of ESS relevant webservices

In order to stimulate further re-use of the datasets developed and integrated during the SDI4Apps project implementation, machine readable application programming interface has been made available, providing an access to the webservices related to the ESS pilot. These services are made available via GeoServer API. Users may select prefered formats of published view (WMS) and download (WFS) services.

ESS web services (screenshot)

ESS web services (screenshot)

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