Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Assessment

PROJECTS

Impacts of climate change in South-East Europe

The predictions are that Southern and South-East Europe may be severely affected by climate change. Indeed, there is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services are steadily increasing. For South-East European (SEE) countries in transition, including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, specific impacts may include: decreasing the richness of biodiversity, water storage potential and tourism potential; and increasing invasion of alien species, crop failure, flooding and bushfires, storm damage and soil erosion. In addition, there will be more problems for local and regional communities that depend on the services provided by ecosystems (in the form of food, drinking water, fuel, building materials or as a harvestable resource) to sustain acceptable living conditions and welfare.

It is vitally important to: increase knowledge and awareness about the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services in these countries; increase networks and create synergies between specialists and practitioners; identify promising options to address the effects of climate change.

Aim

This project therefore set out to assist and increase the capacity of the SEE region in taking the necessary measures to maintain the quality of its biodiversity and to avoid, where possible, further damage to ecosystem services on which local communities are dependent. The results could also feed into the discussions on climate change and biodiversity in the framework of the EU, the Environment for Europe process and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

These goals were achieved through the organization of a conference, focusing on the five countries, which brought together experts and policymakers from the SEE region, and experts and expertise from other European countries, in particular Spain.

In addition, links or cooperation were established with other relevant and active networks and communication vehicles in the region (for instance the Balkan Foundation for Sustainable Development) with the aim of utilizing these communication vehicles as the basis for a self-sustaining network for the exchange of written information and knowledge.

Time frame

The project started on 24 September 2007 and finished on 1 December 2008.

Partners

ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation (coordination)

REC-Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe

Funder

This project was funded by the AECID (Spanish International Cooperation Agency for Development) through the Azahar programme.

Output  

  • A technical background document containing easily accessible scientific information about the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the SEE region, focusing mainly on five target countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey);
  • A stakeholder conference, focusing on the five countries, which brought together experts and policymakers from the SEE region, and which also drew on experts and expertise in some other European countries, in particular Spain;
  • Production of a conference leaflet to advertise the stakeholder conference (see below);
  • Drafting and publication of the conference proceedings;
  • Platform to increase the networking between stakeholders in order to enhance the exchange of information and the creation of synergy and innovation;
  • Establishment of links or cooperation with other relevant and active networks and communication vehicles in the region with the (ideal) result of utilizing these communication vehicles as the basis for a self-sustaining network for the exchange of written information and knowledge;
  • Practical and tailor-made recommendations to mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity and to increase the resilience of ecosystems in SEE;
  • Dissemination of the project results to the EU, CBD, the PEBLDS Council and other relevant forums and stakeholders.