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AquaTAP-ES Policy Brief: Integration of the Ecosystem Services Approach into Policy and Practice is Key for the Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources

The U.N. has declared 2021 to 2030 ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’. Never has a policy brief on Ecosystem services been so timely in its release than the one produced by the Water JPI AquaTAP-ES network: ‘’Integration of the Ecosystem Services Approach into Policy and Practice is Key for the Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources’’. To download: AquaTAP-ES Policy Brief on Ecosystem Services for Policy & Practice

Aquatic ecosystems provide services that yield essential goods and benefits that people and economies depend on.  However both freshwater and marine ecosystems are being degraded at alarming rates, resulting in declining biodiversity and ecosystem function, and consequently the quality of the good and benefits we derive. The goods and benefits provided by aquatic ecosystems have high economic and socio-cultural values and this needs to be communicated to people and integrated into policy.  The ecosystem services approach captures the linkages between aquatic ecosystems and human well-being to support policy and practice to reverse declines. This policy brief is a step in communicating these important messages to improve the protection and management of our aquatic resources.

It is a communication tool to assist in particular policy makers in the water, biodiversity and climate arena by:

  • highlighting the importance of the Ecosystem Services Approach;
  • identifying the policy where the ecosystem services approach should be integrated
  • presenting 6 steps on how to integrate the ecosystem services approach into the assessment and management of aquatic systems

The brief was produced following extensive national and international stakeholder consultation in early 2020.