Title: Mapping cultural ecosystem services: A framework to assess the potential for outdoor recreation across the EU
Citation: ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS vol. 45 p. 371-385
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC83393
ISSN: 1470-160X
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X1400168X
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.04.018
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The publication of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 requires a substantial effort in terms of operationalizing the ecosystem service concept. Target 2 of the Strategy in fact advocates that ecosystems and their services have to be “maintained and enhanced” in the current decade. This necessitates the development of methods to map and assess ecosystem services at regional and Country level, which is recognized under Action 5 of the strategy. Research on ecosystem services mapping and valuing has boosted in recent years, nevertheless compared to other groups (provisioning, regulating) cultural ecosystem services are not yet fully integrated into operational frameworks. One reason is the transdisciplinarity which is required to address the issue: by their own definition cultural services (which encompass physical, intellectual, spiritual interactions with biota) need to be analysed from multiple perspectives (i.e. ecological, social, behavioural). A second reason is most likely the lack of data for large-scale assessments, being direct surveys a main source of information. Among cultural ecosystem services, assessment of outdoor recreation can be based on a large pool of literature developed mostly in social and medical science, and landscape and ecology studies. This paper presents a methodology to include recreation in the conceptual framework for EU wide ecosystem assessments (Maes et al., 2013), which couples existing approaches for recreation management at Country level with behavioural data derived from surveys and literature, and population distribution analysis. The result is a frame that can be applied to quantify the capacity of outdoor recreation as ecosystem service to citizens in the EU, and describe through Country profiles differences in provision, as input to land planning processes.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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