Cover photo by Joseph Barrientos at Unsplash

UPDATE! (June 2021)
This article intends to network Interreg projects related to Ecosystem Services. Since its publication in February 2021 we have received the suggestion to network further with:

  • Fabulous Farmers/Interreg NorthWest Europe - Support to farmers in the transition to more agro-ecological practices on their farms, by encouraging the use of methods and interventions that increase the farm’s Functional AgroBiodiversity (FAB). These are targeted measures of biodiversity in and around the field to improve pollination, pest management, soil and water quality on the farmland.
  • Renatur/Interreg Europe - The aim is to draw attention to the importance of peri-urban open spaces and their natural heritage in order to preserve it, based in model regions which have a great interest in the promotion and protection of the natural heritage of the peri-urban open spaces in planning practice.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE (February 2021)
Ecosystem services (ES), as a direct or indirect theme, are part of other Interreg Europe projects, as well as of projects focussing in specific Interreg regions, which normally include a common ES analysis procedure in the region. To facilitate networking, PROGRESS Library has an ongoing section that includes some of the projects mentioned in this article.This review does not include by any means all Interreg projects having to do with ES.

Interreg Europe projects related to Ecosystem Services

IRENES is a project running in parallel to PROGRESS calendar which analyses Ecosystem Services (ES) in relation to renewable energies by applying a SWOT analysis to the Operational Programs of the ERDF; the project is still in development. Also parallel and developing is the BlueGreenCity project that looks at ES at the local scale of the blue and green infrastructure.

Two other projects we have identified look at particular aspects related to ES: i) BIOGOV approaches good practices in stakeholder involvement in biodiversity protection throught the concept of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, and ii) BID-REX addresses the use of  relevant data to improve regional development policies by creating/reinforcing the link between biodiversity and ES information and  decision-making processes related to conservation, to increase the impact of allocation of ERDF funds.

Photo by Monica Garniga at Unsplash

Regionally focused Interreg projects focusing on Ecosystem Services

Secondly, we have selected three projects that analise Ecosystem Services (ES) in the Interreg regional area they focus on. The first two ended identified and maped ES, as well as engaing stakeholders in key areas of each partner regions. Both projects ended some time ago, and include manuals, guides, mapping techniques and other materials worth a deeper revision. The third is a practical application of ecosystem services, now on its final phases:

  • ECO KARST, based at the Interreg Danube region aims to contribute to the protection and sustainable development of karst bio-regions in the Danube region based on their valued ES, by addresings 7 nature protected karst areas in 7 different countries with common features and similar problems.
  • ALPES, a transnational ES project in the Alps targets analysis, mapping, capacity building and communication in relation to ecosystem services at the region.
  •  Our final reference is to a project that does the next step on Ecosystem Services (ES), approaching the practical rewarding of ES conservation at the Interreg Channel Manche (France-England) region. Interreg CPES discusess how to apply Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) to land managers and land owners in 6 river catchments in the region.

Do you know other Interreg projects related to ES worth mentioning? Let us know!