AQUATAP-ES – understanding how the ecosystem services concept is considered in decision making.

Dr. Kathryn Schoenrock-Rossiter, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Zoology, the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway is looking for your help for a project she is currently working on called AQUATAP-ES.

AQUATAP-ES is trying to understand how the ecosystem service concept or framework is considered when making decisions about management of aquatic resources (including freshwater, coastal, and marine resources). The goal is to determine key stakeholders, and what they need to apply the concept of ecosystem services to policy and practise in management.”

The overall goal of AQUATAP-ES is: Informing Policy & Practice. AQUATAP-ES will seek to foster integration of the ecosystem service concept/framework into decision-making relating to the management of aquatic resources. This will necessitate consideration of who the key stakeholders are, their needs, and the tools necessary to facilitate communication (e.g. policy briefs) or application (e.g. numerical models and decision support tools and training) of the concept in policy and practice.

‘The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the central focus of the United Nations ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The UN specify 17 SDGs, which are further split into 169 targets and 232 indicators, including guidelines for individual countries to implement policies that support development and human well-being, while minimising impacts on the Earth’s natural capital and associated ecosystem services. To work towards these goals we need abdicate data and to have as many stakeholders engaged as possible’ said Kathryn.

The rational for the questionnaire is based on the complicated nature of the data and modelling needs. A lack of key data has been identified as an issue that limits the integration of ecosystem services values into decision-making. Using the collective knowledge of AQUATAP-ES and considering the modelling development and calibration needs for decision support we will compile a listing of key data that should be prioritized for collection. Output to be made available to key stakeholders concerned with environmental data collection/monitoring.

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