Published: 17 October 2013 at 14:48
Anglia Ruskin collaborates on project to improve decision making around vital ecosystems
Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University have worked alongside experts from the University of Cambridge, the University of Southampton, BirdLife International, the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and the RSPB, to produce a toolkit to help measure the value of ecosystems.
The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessments (TESSA) has been designed to provide a relatively cheap and accessible way to measure, on site, the value of ecosystem services. It allows non-experts to make the assessments and demonstrate who could be the winners and losers from any changes in land use.
Available at http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/estoolkit, TESSA currently covers five classes of service: global climate regulation, water-related services, harvested wild goods, cultivated goods and nature-based recreation. New modules on pollination, cultural services and coastal protection are planned for the future.
Dr Francine Hughes, Reader in Animal and Environmental Biology at Anglia Ruskin, said:
The collaboration to develop TESSA has been supported by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative, the Axa Research Fund, and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.Authors from the collaborating institutions have published an overview of TESSA in the journal Ecosystem Services, including examples of how it is being used at sites around the world. The toolkit was successfully trialled at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, as well as at conservation areas in Nepal and the Caribbean island of Montserrat.