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      Applying the System of Environmental Economic Accounting-Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EA) framework at catchment scale to develop ecosystem extent and condition accounts

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          Abstract

          Ecosystem accounting is a tool to integrate nature into decision-making in a more structured way. Applying the use of nationally available datasets at catchment scale and following the System of Environmental Economic Accounting-Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EA) framework, we present results from a catchment case study in Ireland, highlighting findings specifically in relation to the development of ecosystem extent and condition accounts. In the absence of a national ecosystem map, CORINE landcover mapping formed the basic data for extent and type of ecosystems, distinguishing woodlands and forest, peatland and heathland, grasslands and cropland and urban areas, with limited coverage of linear freshwater rivers, hedgerows and coastal ecosystems. Additional remote sensing data provided higher resolution at catchment scale, while limited site-level survey data were available. Condition data gathered for reporting under the EU Water Framework Directive were available at sub-basin level for surface waterbodies. Data were available at national level for habitats reported for the EU under the Habitats Directive (59 habitats reported), covering ~ 25% of the study area. Data for ecosystem types outside of these reporting frameworks were in the form of ancillary data only, providing information on pressures, threats and intensity of use. Our findings in Ireland reflect work across the European region, highlighting the role of data gathering and stakeholder engagement. We outline some of the data gaps to provide information for future research and alignment of data for the purpose of NCA, both at catchment and national scale.

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          Most cited references 2

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          Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet

          The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth system. Here, we revise and update the planetary boundary framework, with a focus on the underpinning biophysical science, based on targeted input from expert research communities and on more general scientific advances over the past 5 years. Several of the boundaries now have a two-tier approach, reflecting the importance of cross-scale interactions and the regional-level heterogeneity of the processes that underpin the boundaries. Two core boundaries—climate change and biosphere integrity—have been identified, each of which has the potential on its own to drive the Earth system into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed.
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            A review of the range and value of ecosystem services from Irish forests.

             Bullock (2016)
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              Author and article information

              Contributors
              (View ORCID Profile)
              Journal
              One Ecosystem
              OE
              Pensoft Publishers
              2367-8194
              April 28 2021
              April 28 2021
              : 6
              Article
              10.3897/oneeco.6.e65582
              © 2021

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