Ecosystems and their services

An ecosystem is a complex set of relationships between living organisms, habitats and environmental inmates. Ecosystems provide functions such as food supply, water, air and climate, maintenance of soil fertility, nutrient cycling, aesthetic and cultural values of the nature, biological diversity, etc. At the same time the ecosystems like forests, dunes and marshes are the ones who are affected the most from the human economic activities.

Economic analysis of ecosystem services is included in various EU planning documents, including the Biodiversity Strategy 2011 – 2020, which states that Member States should be able to identify and evaluate the ecosystem and services. Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services is a key action for the advancement of biodiversity objectives, and also to inform the development and implementation of related policies on water, climate, agriculture, forest, marine and regional planning.

In 2014, the Association “Baltic Coasts” initiated the implementation of the project “LIFE EcosystemServices” in cooperation with the Nature Conservation Agency and Saulkrasti county municipality. The economic assessment of ecosystem services will be carried out within the project to enable more efficient management of natural areas and objectively make decisions with respect to sustainable land-use planning.