Land-use changes are regarded in the literature (DeFries et al., 2004; Geneletti, 2013) as the main driver of alteration of ecosystem structures, functions and services (ES), that is those goods and services provided by nature that contribute to human well-being. Although ES are usually categorized into four main groups: provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services, some scholars (e.g. Boyd and Banzhaf, 2007) question whether the latter should be regarded as ES, as no human demand is directly placed on them. After Müller (2005), some authors refer to them as Ecosystem Integrity or Ecological Integrity (EI), that is, “the self-organizing capacity of ecological systems as well as their resistance against non-specific ecological risk” (Stoll et al., 2014), hence a resilient feature which is in itself a prerequisite for the delivery of the other ES. Following the “Millennium Ecosystem Assessment” initiative, great effort has been put on mapping ES at various scales, from the European (among many, EEA 2016) to the regional or local one (e.g. Grêt-Regamey et al., 2015). Few studies have looked into how such mapping approaches can be used to support the making of land-use plans (e.g., Geneletti, 2013; Casado-Arzuaga et al., 2014) or to enhance environmental assessments by predicting the impacts on ES which would be brought about by implementing planning tools and policies. This is especially important for land-use plans that concern the Natura 2000 network, a coherent network of areas established under Directive 92/43/EEC (the so-called “Habitats Directive”) that are protected on the grounds of their ecological importance, because they host habitats and species endangered, vulnerable, rare, or endemic. Preservation of EI is a key aim of this spatial backbone of the biodiversity European policies, hence to foresee what the impacts of a given plan on EI would be on the Natura 2000 network is even more important than in other contexts. In this short paper, an application of EI and ES assessment is proposed to support current practice in the appropriate assessment (AA) of impacts of land-use plans on Natura 2000, by looking at the case study of the town of Tertenia, in Italy, which is revising its land-use plan, and whose territory partially overlaps a Natura 2000 site. After briefly presenting the study area and the data analysis developed in two phases, one according to the traditional AA procedure and the other taking into account effects on EI and ES (second section), the results of the analysis are presented in the third section, together with a short discussion on the benefits of integrating the two stages. Finally, the fourth section concludes with some remarks for future applications.
|Titolo:||Ecosystem services within the appropriate assessment of land-use plans: exploring a potential integration|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Tipologia:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|