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Working Group 6 - Ecosystem Services

Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services and human well-being are intrinsically linked in various ways. The GEO BON working group 6 on ecosystem services (more) focuses on the (under-researched) linkages between ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services, as well as some relationships between ecosystem services and human well being.

 

 

 

The chain of interaction between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, and human well-being. There is some feed back from ecosystem processes (functioning) to biodiversity.

 

As a contribution to the vision of GEO BON to deliver data that are of use to various stakeholders including scientists and decision makers, the GEO BON working group 6 aims to

  1. track the capacity of an ecosystem to sustainably provide ecosystem services;
  2. map ecosystem service delivery over time at a scale relevant to users, from local to global.

 

To achieve its aims, and to contribute to the accounting of ecosystem service delivery on national level, the working group has proposed four interrelated activities:

  1. monitoring and evaluating global ecosystem service change at subnational and local resolutions,
  2. monitoring and evaluating global ecosystem service change at national resolution,
  3. reporting changes in bundles of ecosystem services and
  4. providing a database and toolbox for multi-scale ecosystem service assessments.

 

As a way forward, a series of workshops was spearheaded to develop outputs that can contribute to the activities of the GEO BON working group 6. The first workshop was held at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research in November 2010, the follow-up workshop took place at ICSU in Paris in March 2011.

The aim of the first workshop was to develop tools to track national and global ecosystem service delivery. Researchers were invited to discuss how the models InVEST (Stanford University) and LPJ/MAgPIE (PIK Potsdam) could contribute to meet this goal, and what more was needed in terms of input data and outputs required. The meeting produced a framework to track ecosystem services, which was to be tested using the two models. For the detailed meeting report, click here.

The follow-up workshop was dedicated to examining the outputs and results of the simulations and model runs agreed on in the Potsdam meeting in November 2010. The presentations highlighted challenges and limitations to tracking ecosystem services, mainly based on input data of insufficient quality and resolution. There are opportunities to integrate the two models, which will be explored in a global analysis of trade-offs and bundles.

The meeting was further dedicated to outlining a way forward in the development of an ecosystem service monitoring framework within GEO BON. A framework was developed to integrate monitoring work done by a range of monitoring groups, and could pave the way forward for a global ecosystem services monitoring system under the auspices of GEO BON. The detailed meeting report can be accessed here.

Publication: Tallis H, Mooney H, Andelman S, Balvanera P, Cramer W, Karp D, Polasky S, Reyers B, Ricketts T, Running S, Thonicke K, Tietjen B and Walz A. 2012. A Global System for Monitoring Ecosystem Service Change. Bioscience 62(11):977-986

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