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Eurosite GIS guidance for mapping ecosystem services


Over 2019, the Eurosite Economics and Ecosystem Services Working Group has developed a guidance document for mapping ecosystem services through QGIS. By making this document publicly available, Eurosite hopes to support site managers all over Europe in using GIS to integrate ecosystem services into their site management.

One of the applications for GIS tools is to help integrate the ecosystem services concept into the daily work of a site manager. By using some simple tools and operations, it is possible to come up with simple estimates of the ecosystem services delivered by your specific site, and to produce illustrative maps for communication purposes. Even basic knowledge of GIS can help you gather and analyse available data (starting with the extent and the distribution of the ecosystems), map ecosystem services (e.g. by using the ecosystem services matrix) and communicate certain problems or results with other stakeholders (e.g. by producing and sharing the map in the appropriate (e.g. jpeg or pdf) format).

The purpose of the leaflet is therefore not to give the reader a total overview of all the functions and possibilities of QGIS, but simply to get site managers started in GIS. Even a basic proficiency in GIS can facilitate communication with stakeholders and reduce the possibilities of mistakes due to potential misunderstandings. And for those who already use GIS, albeit sporadically, the document may serve as a cheat sheet to find basic functions more quickly.

Newsletter picture by Isabelle Blanchemain