Ireland’s National Ecosystem and Ecosystem Services Pilot

This project commissioned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service set out to establish a framework for a National Ecosystem Assessment for Ireland. By assessing and valuing the known benefits of ecosystem services it is possible to demonstrate how Ireland’s biodiversity affects the economy, society and future development opportunities. It also demonstrates that conserving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems gives multiple benefits to society.

On this project Environment Systems used its SENCE (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation) tool because it can accept a wide range of data sources at different scales and deliver outputs for a variety of ecosystem services. A ‘Habitat Asset Register’ and 8 Ecosystem Services maps were created from over 300 spatial datasets with inputs from a number of different stakeholders. These included organisations likely to be involved in implementing projects to restore ecosystems in Ireland, people with existing knowledge of environmental and societal issues and policy, and technical experts with knowledge of relevant data and projects. All the outputs from the project are available for download from the National Parks and Wildlife website.

A web based ‘Story Map’ provides an explanation of supporting ecosystem service information. Each ecosystem service map can be viewed along side an explanation of what the service is how it was produced and how it can be interpreted and used. The Story Map can be viewed here.

The full report on the research has been published and can be downloaded here.