Tourism, fisheries, salt, minerals, agriculture and forestry sectors 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 countries of the Atlantic region.
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, over application of fertilizers, poor soil management or overgrazing.
Blue-Green Infrastructure Networks (BGINs) are being promoted across the world in order to restore and improve biodiversity and enhance Ecosystem Services. However, the implementation of BGIN requires that land-managers recognize the interconnectivity of terrestrial-aquatic and land-sea interface systems and have the proper tools for their sustainable design and use.
This involves a full understanding of the linkages between activities developed in the whole catchment and the management of multiple sectors to ensure natural resource sustainability, biodiversity conservation, risk reduction and livelihood generation. Therefore the involvement of all stakeholders during consultative planning and management of BGINs is crucial for the success of the project.
There is a lack of common methods applied across coastal, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems to monitor the conservation status of the many species and habitats within the Nature 2000 network and a lack of integrated policies for biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.