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Ecosystem services for climate change adaptation in land management - AC0308

Description
The overall aim of this project is to examine the potential for agricultural land management to provide ecosystem services that support adaptation to climate change. Where appropriate, contributions to the mitigation of climate change will also be included.

Ecosystem services have been defined in various ways, but a commonly accepted definition is suggested by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which provided a comprehensive assessment of the state of the global environment. Ecosystem services were defined in terms of a) Provisioning Services (products obtained from ecosystems such as food, fibre, fuel etc); b) Cultural Services (non material benefits such as recreation and aesthetic experiences); c) Supporting Services (services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, nutrient cycling required to support other ecosystem services) and d) Regulating Services (the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes including air quality regulation, climate regulation, pest and disease regulation, natural hazard regulation, water regulation, erosion regulation, water purification and pollination ).

This project will focus on the potential for agricultural land management to provide Regulating Services. The key objectives are:

1. To identify and review regulatory ecosystem services associated with agricultural land use in England and Wales that could help society adapt to climate change trends according to UKCIP scenarios for 2020 – 2080, placing greatest emphasis on 2020. The information will be used to provide a regional analysis of ecosystem services that farming systems might provide to assist in the adaptation to climate change. This will involve identifying the key farm types in each region, relating their activities to the predicted changes in climate in that region and, taking this into account, identifying the ecosystem services that such farming systems might provide.

2. To undertake two specific case studies, selected on completion of the first objective. Case studies could focus on specific ecosystem services, specific regions, specific habitats (e.g. coastal, peatland or upland habitats), farm types or a specific policy issue. Each case study will include a brief qualitative description of the contribution of each ecosystem service, and where possible, provide a quantitative assessment of the current and potential contribution of each ecosystem service towards adaptation or mitigation or both, under the agreed climate change scenarios illustrated by UKCIP. In particular, attention will be given to areas where policy has had, or could have, an impact on delivery of these services. Where possible, mitigation with opportunities for biodiversity adaptation will be highlighted, and the potential indirect impacts of climate change, such as changes in land use or farming, and their effects on the provision of adaptation and mitigation services will be highlighted.

3. To list gaps in the evidence base, make recommendations for ways in which key ecosystem services could be enhanced and identify areas that require further work.

The project will be directed by a Steering Group. Representatives of relevant Defra policy areas, Natural England, the Environment Agency and other experts will be invited to sit on the steering group.

Objective
Ecosystem services for climate change adaptation in agricultural land management

The overall aim of this project is to examine the potential for agricultural land management to provide ecosystem services that support adaptation to climate change. Where appropriate, contributions to the mitigation of climate change will also be included.

The objectives of the project are as follows:

1. To set up a project steering group and to provide secretariat support for two meetings.
2. To identify, with the help of the steering group, key policy areas that will be supported by evidence from the project.
3. To identify and review regulatory ecosystem services associated with agricultural land use in England and Wales that could help society adapt to climate change trends according to UKCIP scenarios for 2020 – 2080, placing greatest emphasis on 2020.
4. To select two specific case studies according to the outputs of Objective 3 and in agreement with the Steering Group.
5. To list gaps in the evidence base, make recommendations for ways in which key ecosystem services could be enhanced and identify areas that require further work.
6. To prepare a final report in collaboration with the Steering Group presenting information in summary tables, figures and maps where appropriate.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Ecosystem Services for Climate Change Adaptation in Agricultural Land Management   (3224k)
• Final Report - Annex : Appendix K Blank EsA Matrix   (130k)
• Final Report - Annex : Appendix O: Case Study Partially Populated EsA Matrix   (287k)
• Final Report - Annex : Ecosystem Services for Climate change Adaptation in Agricultural Land Management - Final report appendices   (13403k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £103,766
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
Agriculture and Climate Change              
Agri-Environment              
Allocated - WHRI              
Biodiversity              
Climate and Weather              
Climate Change              
Ecosystem Service              
Environmental Protection              
Nature conservation              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change