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CORDIS Express: The value of nature

This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at the EU-funded research projects exploring the value of ecosystems and the policies and initiatives needed to protect them.

We depend on nature in many ways that are not always obvious or appreciated. While we may be aware of the importance of direct benefits such as fresh water, food and fuel, less visible yet vital services such as waste management and pest control can go unnoticed. That is until they are disrupted in some way. Biodiversity loss can have significant direct human health and social impacts, even affecting livelihoods and driving migration. The indicators from this year’s European Environment Agency's assessment of Europe’s environment on the biodiversity front are concerning: 60 % of protected species assessments and 77 % of habitat assessments recorded an unfavourable conservation status. Europe is not on track to meet its 2020 target of halting biodiversity loss, and future climate change is projected to intensify pressures and impacts. Some say that, in order to protect ecosystems, we need to place a formal value on the services that they deliver. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – TEEB, a global initiative focused on ‘making nature’s values visible’, is a driving force behind this approach. Its principal objective is to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making at all levels. Other voices, however, argue that nature’s intrinsic value should be respected and that efforts to reduce its services to figures are unwise. A range of EU-funded projects are engaging in this debate. They are exploring the many health and well-being benefits that ecosystems provide, assessing different ways of valuing ecosystem services and the initiatives and policies needed, across all areas, to ensure that ecosystems are protected and biodiversity loss is halted. This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at some of these projects, as well as related news. - Positive health effects of the natural outdoor environment in typical populations in different regions in Europe - BIOMOT explores what drives action for nature - BESAFE explores effectiveness of biodiversity arguments to improve policy making - Turning the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital into practice - The real value of ecosystems - Trending science: Tree-lined streets improve your health


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom

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