Ecosystem services are essential for the production of food, drinking water and energy, human health, infrastructure, sustainable urban growth, adaptation to climate change and other benefits. It is vitally important to ensure that ecosystem services are incorporated into urban planning and management, since maintaining them is essential to ensure equitable and sustainable growth and development of urban areas, as well as to mitigate climate change and adaptation to its adverse effects. At the same time, most people and governments cannot afford to ignore the economic and social costs associated with the degradation and loss of ecosystems and their services in the long term.
The Integration of Ecosystem Services urban approach advocates the gradual integration of ecosystem services into urban planning and management. This helps identify priority services to later show how integration can be achieved in practice. Basically, it can be used to:
• Demonstrate the dependence and impacts of urban development goals and measures on ecosystem services,
• Generate information on how to reduce the negative impacts of the urban development process or plan and / or increase the ecosystem services offer on which it depends or to which it affects, and
• Provide concrete options on how to maximize positive links between ecosystem services and urban development processes
This manual aims to help planners recognize the links between nature and urban development, consider the dilemmas associated with development plans and incorporate the opportunities and risks related to ecosystem services in the urban development planning, programs and decisions. It does not consist of a fixed recipe, but is intended to inform and guide decision makers in the design of their own processes to evaluate and consider ecosystem services.
The document helps identify priority services, to later show how integration can be achieved in practice, and provides guidance (including concrete tools and methods) to urban development planners on how to do it.
The manual was developed within the framework of the activities of the Climate Protection in the Mexican Urban Policy Program (CiClim), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
For more information, see the description of the program here.