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Decision-making principles for the sustainable use of ecosystems: EU research project SELINA

Decision-making principles for the sustainable use of ecosystems: EU research project SELINA

Biodiversity and ecosystem services

The Institute of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology coordinates the research project SELINA: Science for Evidence-based and sustainabLe decIsions about Natural capital, which starts on 1 July 2022. The project has been selected for funding of 13 million euros over a period of five years as part of the new EU research programme Horizon Europe in the area of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Biodiversity - a principle of the European Green Deal

With its partners in all 27 EU member states as well as Norway, Israel, the UK and Switzerland, the project forms a pan-European network. It is part of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 to protect nature and reverse ecosystem degradation. After the forerunner project ESMERALDA carried out an inventory and assessment of ecosystems as well as their ecosystem services, SELINA can build on these data and methods. "With the SELINA project, we now have the appropriate framework to combine findings from science on ecosystems and their services and then make them specifically usable to support sustainable decisions in the public and private sectors," explains Prof. Dr. Benjamin Burkhard, who is coordinating the project. The results will subsequently serve as a model and be taken into account in future decision-making processes in business and politics.

Upcoming challenges - Europe-wide solutions

Particularly in the agricultural sector, some land uses are currently being reconsidered. The project's science-based decision-making tools allow, for example, the regeneration of overused or inappropriately managed farmland and the minimisation of negative effects of land use. More than 50 partners in the project ensure that the decision-making principles developed can be applied throughout Europe.