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Rationalising Biodiversity Conservation in Dynamic Ecosystems

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Presentation on theme: "Rationalising Biodiversity Conservation in Dynamic Ecosystems"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rationalising Biodiversity Conservation in Dynamic Ecosystems
(RUBICODE) Integrating ecosystem services into habitat management and biodiversity policy in Europe For further information contact John Haslett ( or Rob Jongman ( Funded under the European Commission Sixth Framework Programme Contract Number:

2 Presentation outline Present conservation strategies – Protected Areas and networks. The importance of non-protected areas – Ecosystem service provision and the wider landscape. The example of agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). An in-depth analysis of conservation policy – the views of stakeholders in France, Germany and Hungary. General limitations of present conservation strategies. A new framework for conservation in Europe encompassing ecosystem dynamics and ecosystem service provision. Some gaps in present knowledge that still require attention.

3 Present conservation strategies
Habitat protection is now recognised as a prerequisite for species survival. As a result, a continuous, overlapping spectrum of valid conservation strategies, encompassing species and their habitats, is covered by present legislation, e.g. Bern Convention (CoE), Habitats Directive (EU) & others.

4 The established approach relies on Protected Area (PA) management
Protected Areas play a central role in conservation strategies and policy – many different instruments covering all levels. Six IUCN categories of Protected Areas with a gradient of management intervention to meet different needs in different situations. European Protected Areas are no longer very efficient – interests and emphasis have changed from PA design and inventorying to management for sustainable development.

5 The Emerald and Natura 2000 network
The EU Natura 2000 network of Protected Areas forms part of the wider Emerald Network of the Bern Convention. Areas are identified by the individual Member States. The Natura 2000 network is comprised of Special Bird Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Numbers and sizes of the designated PAs differs greatly between Member States. Integration of the Emerald and Natura 2000 areas into the wider landscape has not been realised.

6 The density of Natura 2000 sites differs in France and Germany

7 Non-protected areas Most land in Europe is not protected and much biodiversity is outside Protected Areas. Organisms disperse naturally across landscapes – the resulting distribution patterns are important for species heterogeneity and ecosystem function. Large scale management of non-PA’s may be helped through the Landscape Convention. Ecological linkages between PAs are essential, but not enough by themselves.

8 Biodiversity within and outside PAs also delivers ecosystem services
Ecosystem services need to be protected together with species and habitats because: They are essential for human well-being; They are a currency to value ecosystems and promote their sustainable use; They offer a value-added strategy to supplement presently established biodiversity conservation.

9 Biodiversity conservation outside PAs: Agriculture and the CAP
Within RUBICODE, CAP analysed in 7 case studies selected based on the following criteria: the approval of the RDPs; availability of an English translation; maximum diversity (geographical, social and economical). Selected countries and regions: Hungary; Ireland; Italy- Veneto; Lithuania; the Netherlands; Sweden; UK- England.

10 Agriculture and biodiversity
Many Red List species depend on grassland. Several priority habitats depend on farming. High Nature Value (HNV) farmland varies between states up to 25% in Ireland. Less Favourable Areas (LFAs) vary greatly: Ireland = 75%; Sweden = 50%; Veneto = 46%; Lithuania = 43.5%; England = 24%; Hungary, the Netherlands < 10%. Natura 2000 areas can also contain farmland: Sweden: 110,000 hectares in LFAs designated as Natura 2000; 40% of the English LFA is within National Park boundaries.

11 No standardisation between member states
No commonly agreed definition for ‘rural’. EC commission uses the OECD definition. According to OECD standards: Sweden is 99% rural, the Netherlands 0%. Most national Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) provide definitions that suit the national circumstances and are not comparable. HNV is used but a definition is rarely provided nor statistics addressing HNV farmland.

12 Second pillar of the CAP is the basis for RDPs
The second Pillar consists of four axes, namely: Axis 1: improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector; Axis 2: improving the environment and the countryside; Axis 3: the quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy; Axis 4: Leader, building local capacity for employment and diversification (EC 1698/2005).

13 Threats for farmland biodiversity

14 In-depth Analysis of Nature Conservation Policies
3 countries analysed: France, Germany and Hungary. Semi-structured interviews undertaken with key national stakeholders. Analysis of key policy documents. Country reports.

15 Results from the interviews
Biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services: Ecosystem services is an important concept to convince people about the necessity of nature conservation. However, it is hard to get “ecosystem service” ideas accepted. Attributing an economic value to natural biological resources is a good idea. Traditional concepts of conservation have a limited perspective. There is a need for approaches with a wider spectrum, including temporal and spatial dynamics.

16 Results from the interviews
Public Participation in Biodiversity Conservation: Public participation is recognised as of increasing importance: “NGOs and also companies, local governments and professional groups in direct contact with nature (such as farmers, fishers) as well as the general public have to be more involved if we want to change gear”. There is an increasing participatory role of NGOs.

17 Results from the interviews
General priorities: To improve the efficiency of bridging scientific knowledge and policies; To set more quantitative targets for nature conservation (such as for climate change or pesticide reduction); To integrate biodiversity conservation into other policy fields; To promote the importance of soil and water protection as well as species and biotope protection.

18 Limitations of current conservation strategies
Reasons for conservation have been largely aesthetic – only just starting to include socio-economic aspects. Most institutions and instruments assume spatially and temporally static situations. Conservation is considered primarily at human scales, involving “simple” spatial habitat mosaics. Conservation relies heavily on PAs and networks, even though ecological corridor functioning is still unclear. Invertebrates under-represented at all levels.

19 Framework for integrating ecosystem
services into conservation (part 1) Human aesthetic, cultural and moral values Species/habitat protection Conservation policy and management strategy RUBICODE has undertaken two reviews on European habitat management strategies and the effectiveness of existing conservation policy. We also held a stakeholder workshop in Slovenia in April which discussed strategies for a new dynamic approach for conservation focused on ecosystem service provision. The information from all these sources has been summarised within a conceptual framework for integrating ecosystem services into conservation strategies. This slide illustrates the conventional approach to conservation. It is our aesthetic, cultural and moral values that provide the stimulus for conserving nature, which requires policies and appropriate management strategies. This has led to the present situation of Protected Areas in ecological networks for the conservation of species and habitats. Visiting these Protected Areas or seeing photographs of them reinforces our aesthetic appreciation and the value of feeling somehow “close to nature”. Static site-based PAs & networks

20 ES & conservation framework (part 2)
Ecosystem service provision Societal needs Human aesthetic, cultural and moral values Species/habitat protection Conservation policy and management strategy Sectoral policy and management Societal needs from nature are much broader than just aesthetic and cultural values. Supply of provisioning, regulatory and supporting services at levels required by the service beneficiaries, while also protecting biodiversity, requires that sectoral policy and management for ecosystem services be integrated with conservation within entire socio-ecological systems and these systems managed to provide all societal needs sustainably. This is seen in the outer loop. However, there may also be services whose provision will be antagonistic to biodiversity conservation interests or to other services. If left to run in isolation, or unsustainably, this loop may have severe detrimental effects on biodiversity that is not required to provide non-cultural services. Thus it is of utmost importance that both loops of the framework are maintained and equally important, that the loops not be considered in isolation of each other, but must be closely linked in all appropriate places and at all scales of organisation. All this implies an acute awareness of the dynamic nature of ecosystems and our societal interactions with them – change to any part of the system, biological or socio-economic, from within or external, is likely to have profound consequences for the other components and their relationships. This re-emphasises that it would be naïve to continue to consider biodiversity conservation as something on its own; and that entire Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) are the appropriate level for responding to future conservation needs. Ecosystem sustainability and integrity Static site-based PAs & networks Management for sustainable ecosystem services Conservation within socio-ecological systems

21 Gaps in knowledge and practice that require attention (I)
A more dynamic approach that takes account of ecosystem dynamics. Managing spatial mosaic heterogeneity must be bound to temporal change, recognising climate and land use change. Nested spatial scales: View habitat mosaics from the “organism point of view” in addition to human landscape perspectives. Inclusion of invertebrates in habitat management decisions and legislation – these animals form most biodiversity and have many essential ecosystem functions and services across a wide range of scales.

22 Gaps in knowledge and practice that require attention (II)
Integration of conservation strategies and policy with other sectors – agriculture, transport, industry, etc. Knowledge on balancing the conflicts between economic service provision and biodiversity conservation. Inclusion of the sustainable provision of ecosystem services within the bounds of management for conservation would be one way to add value to present conservation management strategies.

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