ALICE project has started to help achieve the EU 2020 targets for biodiversity in Atlantic landscapes

This project will identify economic and social barriers to the implementation of Blue and Green Infrastructures and improve the characterization of biodiversity and ecosystem services at the land-sea interface in the Atlantic Region.

Eleven European institutions from 5 countries (France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain) joined to develop an innovative approach to assess how Blue and Green Infrastructures can contribute to meeting the EU 2020 targets for biodiversity in Atlantic coastal and terrestrial landscapes.

The team includes scientists, universities, research institutes, local and national governments, NGOs and SMEs, who have the appropriate environmental, social and economic experience. The project kick-off meeting took place between 11 and 12 December in Santander, Spain, with the presentation by the partners of all work-packages.

Fishing, tourism, agriculture and forestry provide essential economic assets (Ecosystem Services) to the development of many coastal and rural areas of the Atlantic region. All these activities have been identified as important within the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization for many EU regions of the Atlantic region (ie RIS3 objectives). However, the Ecosystem Service provision from Atlantic landscapes could be seriously compromised by losses on biodiversity because of changes on land uses and climate change.

Aquatic ecosystems such as rivers and estuaries are especially vulnerable to the impacts of human activities in the watershed such as urbanization, pollution of rivers, application of fertilizers and bad land management.

Based in four Case Studies, the aim of ALICE is to develop a common methodology that recognizes the socioeconomic differences between the “Case Studies” to help transform the way, regional and local actors manage natural resources in the Atlantic region. This will assist on a more sustainable management of these landscapes by ensuring the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services provisioning.