Alpine Ecosystem Services - mapping, maintenance, management

Work Package "Ecosystem services - Alpine concept"

Within the AlpES project ifuplan is responsible for the coordination of WP1 referring to “Ecosystem services – Alpine concept”. This WP aims to provide fundamental input on Ecosystem Services (ES) of the Alpine area, to elaborate a common vision of ES and convert it into a transnational environmental governance model.

This includes the following working steps:

  • 1. Development of a common understanding on ES by establishing an application-oriented guideline on ES definitions and methodologies among the Alpine countries. The guideline will also include an overview of approaches and existing projects regarding ES on both the EU and national levels.
  • 2. Analysis of national and EU-wide approaches on mapping and assessment of ES within the Alpine countries.
  • 3. Assessment of national (in-) formal instruments being suitable for the integration of ES in regional environmental governance and decision support. An active involvement of the project partners as well as stakeholders from the Alpine countries is needed to create an overview and discuss effective instruments on their implementation in decision making processes.
  • 4. Based on the above listed steps a harmonised ES mapping and assessment concept has to be developed, with first suggestions on ES indicators for the Alpine area. ES indicators are tools that quantify information on ES by aggregating multiple data. For this working step a strong cooperation with WP2, specialised on ES mapping, will be pursued.
  • 5. Active involvement of stakeholders from the Alpine Space is needed to develop a user-oriented concept on Alpine ES. This activity has several synergies with WP4.

The deliverables of WP1 will be used for spreading information to relevant stakeholders prior to their participation in training events. WP1 also aims to establish a common vision within the framework of the AlpES project partners, a basis for a common know-how pool on ES that will be transferred to and actively discussed with stakeholders and observers from planning, management, decision making organisations and NGOs.


Work Package "Mapping & Assessment"


The AlpES project’s WP T2 aims at mapping and assessing ecosystem services. Therefore, the project team calculates ecosystem-service indicators, but also relevant sustainability indicators for the Alpine space and evaluates the results. The WPs T1 and T2 elaborate together the theoretical approach for the calculation and evaluation of the indicators. Therefore, WP T2 collects base data and prepares them for a further use. Furthermore, it collects and tests methods for the indicator calculation and the fine-tuning of the mapping approach. Finally, it maps and assesses ecosystem services in the Alpine space. WP T2 works on two spatial levels: it calculates and evaluates a set of indicators for the whole Alpine space area and focusses also on smaller test regions in the Alpine space, in which special circumstances require a more focused approach and better base data might be available. As the whole AlpES project, WP T2 is committed to collaborating closely with stakeholders and involves them actively in the project development. To achieve AlpES outputs being as practically and applicable as possible, the project partners will organize face-to-face meetings with stakeholders in order to present them the developed WP T2 indicators and collect their feedback. WP T2 hands the indicator results including meta data over to WP T3, which makes them publicly available through an interactive web GIS.


Work Package "WebGIS & WIKIAlps"

In the AlpES project the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is responsible for the third work package named “WebGIS and WIKIAlps”. The aim of this work package is to develop an interactive and interoperable AlpES webGIS through which ecosystem services indicators and its metadata are made available. Furthermore, the WIKIAlps website is further developed and used to disseminate the AlpES project results.

This work package is divided into five main tasks:

  • 1. Analyse and define the requirements for the AlpES web-based data publication and visualisation. These requirements concern the nature of data, project constraints, data harmonisation, and technical implementation. This task is carried out in close collaboration with the second work package “Mapping and Assessment”.
  • 2. Foster a common understanding of the ecosystem services concept and its benefits and of natural capital through WIKIAlps. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research facilitates updating the WIKIAlps website with AlpES project info and project results by the project partners and other interested parties.
  • 3. Analyse and harmonise the ecosystems services data assembled by the work package “Mapping and Assessment” and integrate these into a database.
  • 4. Build a technology framework on which to base the AlpES webGIS and its database and develop webGIS functionalities and a dynamic interface so users can calculate their own ecosystem services indicators.
  • 5. Involve the AlpES stakeholders through face-to-face meetings during which their feedback is asked on the webGIS and the WIKIAlps website. Their feedback is then used to further the development of this work package and the next work package named “Capacity Building Model”.

The webGIS and its database together with the WIKIAlps website are the work package’s main end products.


Work Package "Capacity Building Model"

Within the AlpES project Safe Mountain Foundation (FondMS) is responsible for the coordination of WP T4, “Capacity building model”. This WP aims to raise awareness for the governance potential of Ecosystem Services (ES), to build capacity to use AlpES outputs and to involve the maximum number of stakeholders in a process of consolidation and implementation of the ES concept in territorial management by providing practical offers for training and support. This includes the following working steps:

  • 1. Synthesis of stakeholders’ feedback obtained from face-to-face meetings in WP T1, T2 & T3 for their integration in the development of the capacity building model. For this working step, a strong cooperation with WP T1, T2 and T3 will be pursued in order to obtain from key stakeholders a clear understanding of their gaps and needs in ES knowledge.
  • 2. Development of the AlpES capacity building model for the multi-level and cross-sectorial transfer of AlpES results to the target groups. The model is composed of a set of tools: (1) concept for one-day training units on Alpine ES in theory and practice; (2) concept for one-day practical workshop including examples of negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution and participation adaptable to different Alpine space regional contexts; (3) short guideline on practical integration of ES and AlpES outputs in regional environmental governance / decision making support; (4) e-learning tool for independent use of AlpES outputs.
  • 3. Results transfer through the organisation of at least one training for target groups in AT, DE, FR, IT, SI, LI/CH and three practical transnational workshops in the Alpine space area.

The output of WP T4 is a transferable suite of training tools and formats to embed the knowledge and the application of ES management tools at multiple administrative levels and across sectors related to alpine space management.

WP Management


Within the AlpES project, the lead partner EURAC is in charge of the WP Management. This WP deals with the overall operative management and coordination of the project. The lead partner supervises all project activities and ensures that the planned outputs and results are delivered according to the project time schedule. This WP includes the coordination of all activities related to the submission of project reports and a constant monitoring of the project budget. The lead partner takes care that project reports are submitted within the established deadlines, that all activities carried out for the implementation of the project are presented and that the expenditures reported by each participant comply with the planned project budget. The lead partner is in charge of managing and organising smooth communication between the project partners and with WP leaders through regular contact and meetings. They are also responsible for all communication with the Alpine Space Programme bodies.


WP Communication


With regard to external project communication the project partner Office of Environment, Principality of Liechtenstein, has subcontracted CIPRA International to lead the WP Communication. The main objective of project communication is to raise awareness of the issues being tackled in the AlpES project ; to increase knowledge and change behaviour by developing a range of communication tools tailored to the different target groups and balancing the need to communicate complex technical information with creating opportunities for mutual exchange and learning. The WP leader supports all project partners in preparing their deliverables and outputs in line with the project’s and the Alpine Space Programme’s visual identity guidelines and maximise their impact by translating scientific concepts into accessible language and formats tailored to the respective target groups’ needs.