EU LIFE Programme together with the LIFE Viva Grass project organised a LIFE Platform meeting on Ecosystem Services: “COSTING THE EARTH? – translating the ecosystem services concept into practical decision making” in Tallinn, Estonia from 10 to 12 May 2017. The meeting was attended by some 100 participants representing more than 50 different LIFE projects.

Ecosystem Services is an innovative concept from both the scientific and conservation perspective. Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services (MAES) is one of the major outputs under the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

Numerous LIFE projects are trying to implement the ecosystem services approach on the ground through their project work. Since 2011 they also need to analyse the possible effect of project actions on ecosystem services. Therefore, the goals of this event were to:

  • identify the relationship between LIFE projects and the application of the ecosystem service concept in the EU;
  • explore the contribution of our LIFE projects to testing, applying and enhancing the ecosystem services concept in the European Union;
  • discuss how the EU LIFE Programme contributes to policy and decision-making;
  • contribute to guidance for assessing and applying ecosystem services at both the LIFE Programme level and at the individual LIFE project level.

The event considered approaches (i.e. tools, methods and approaches) developed within LIFE projects on:
– Defining/mapping ecosystem services
– Valuing ecosystem services
– Application of the ecosystem services concept in decision-making

For further information about the event, including all presentations, please visit the event website.


Photo credit: LIFE Viva Grass