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What nature provides

Fresh water supplies are one of the most important ecosystem services in the Alps. © Ulrike Tappeiner

The international project AlpES is strengthening the importance of ecosystems and their services for the population of the Alps. The project team will be presenting its results on 21-22 November 2018 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Ecosystem services contribute significantly to the quality of life of the populations of the Alpine regions. These include springs as sources of clean drinking water, trees that provide a pleasant micro-climate in the city, or simply the views of unspoilt natural landscapes. The EU-funded project AlpES (Alpine Ecosystem Services) aims to strengthen the significance and appreciation of ecosystem services in regional and transnational environmental policies. Ten partner organisations from six Alpine countries surveyed ecosystem services over a three-year period and have now gathered them together. One of the project objectives was to develop a freely available Web GIS map that would give an overview of ecosystem services in the Alps, allowing data collected from all of the pilot regions to be entered. Users of the Web GIS map can choose between eight different ecosystem indicators: a glance at the map shows where action is needed, for example in areas with inadequate forest protection or excessive fresh water consumption. Findings like these provide a solid basis for political and economic decisions. The Secretary-General of the Alpine Convention will open the AlpES Conference in Innsbruck on 21 November 2018.


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