Work Package 2 - Green Infrastructure at European, Regional and Local Scale - Functionality Assessment
The second thematic work package will concentrate on assessing the functional values of green infrastructure in the landscape; this includes protected and non-protected areas. Its objective is to develop and demonstrate green infrastructure assessment methods that gauge connectivity, functionality (in terms of landscape ecology i.e. cores, nodes, stepping stones etc.), and functionality in terms of ecosystem services and to communicate, and facilitate the adoption of those assessment methods by institutions through participatory approaches and training. Previously assessments methodologies for functionality have not brought together landscape ecological functions and ecosystem services.
Understanding how the management of areas high in biodiversity affects the surrounding productive/cultural landscapes and vice-versa is vital in prescribing landscape management guidelines. Transnational cooperation between partners working in tandem on specific themes such as fragmentation, land-use pressure, human activities (user pressure), and invasive species will explore and demonstrate the use of green infrastructure as a landscape planning concept and role in landscape-scale ecological systems through developing and then applying green infrastructure -functionality assessment in their nine case study areas and feeding back into assessment development. Associated partners will be involved throughout the development and testing phases. The output is the Manual for Regional Green Infrastructure Functionality Assessment, a tool for supporting decision-making, In addition to this; digital maps and databases that illustrate landscape ecological functions and ecosystem services will be produced for the case study areas. The resulting outputs will provide planning and environmentally oriented institutes with information and methods with which planning policies and strategies can be produced that recognise landscape ecological functions and ecosystem services and identify opportunities for enhanced multifunctionality.
Manual of Green infrastructure Functionality Assessment - Decision-support tool
Based on the experiences, that are gained in selected case-studies, a "hands-on" manual of green infrastructure functionality assessment will be compiled. The manual is addressing user needs such as identifying land functionality when developing planning policies & provides an approach to evidence collection to support decision-making as well as mirroring the present state of the art in relevant functionality assessment approaches.
Nine Pilot actions assessing green infrastructure functionality and ecosystem services in each of the participating regions
A series of nine pilot actions will be undertaken in each of the nine partner regions. This pilot testing of the assessment methodology will locate, categorise and evaluate core areas, stepping stones, nodes, recreation/wildlife corridors, matrix and functionality and ecosystem services.
Maps and data illustrating functionality for each of the partner case study areas
Multi-layered digital maps will be created illustrating the functionality of green infrastructure in the nine case study areas in terms of landscape ecological functions (core areas, stepping stones, nodes, wildlife corridors and ecosystem services, land-use). Maps will identify areas in need of action i.e. those where functions could be in need of enhancement to deliver greater benefit. They are used in strategy development in Work Package 3.They will be made available to all stakeholders for free as data.