Ecosystems provide services and goods such as food and freshwater, which are crucial for the human well-being. These functions are threatened by the ongoing fragmentation and deterioration of ecosystems in Europe. Green infrastructure, which is considered a network of green areas and features in rural and urban landscapes, can enhance the resilience of species and ecosystems to global change while securing multiple benefits and ensuring provision of ecosystem services and goods. The EU is currently working on a strategy on green infrastructure. This project provides the basis for the impact assessment of this strategy. The final report can be downloaded.
The deterioration of ecosystems and biodiversity across Europe through fragmentation and land use conversion also affects the effective protection of habitats and species within protected areas such as the Natura 2000 network. The development of an EU Green Infrastructure Strategy will contribute to the achievement of the EU’s new 2020 target for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Project aim and methodology
The project aims to gather new knowledge on costs and benefits of green infrastructure and identify examples for successful implementation of relevant initiatives, to compare these initiatives and understand which impacts green infrastructure have.
First, figures on cost and benefits of green infrastructure policy initiatives and strategies will be collected. The quantitative and qualitative information are gathered at local, regional and national levels for all EU Member States. Second, the added value of a common European strategy for green infrastructure will be assessed.
Furthermore, the environmental, social and economic impacts of implementing green infrastructure in EU Member States will be analysed, applying four different policy scenarios:
- business as usual,
- enhanced cooperation and best practice exchange,
- integration of Green Infrastructure into Community policies across all sectors,
- legislative measures.
Tasks of Ecologic Institute
Ecologic’s team will collect and compile data on Green Infrastructure in four Member States (Germany, Lithuania, Sweden and Slovenia) and carry out an in-depth analysis of existing initiatives in Germany. In particular, the team will focus on the analysis of the costs brought about by specific components of a green infrastructure network. Finally, Ecologic will contribute to the impact assessment of the four policy scenarios.
The final report [pdf, 2.8 MB, English] can be downloaded.