Modules 3 and 4 of the capacity building training for the concept of ecosystem services held

The third and the fourth module of the Capacity building training for the concept of ecosystem services were held in Hotel Unique in Ohrid. The modules focused on integrated assessment of ecosystem services and the integration of ecosystem services in policy planning.

The first two days, that is to say module 3, were dedicated to the integrated assessment of ecosystem services, with lecturers by Rudolf de Groot, chair of the executive committee of ESP (Ecosystem Service Partnership) and founder and director of the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) and Vince van Hoff (FSD). Some of the topics that were covered included: guidelines for integrated assessment of ecosystem services, identification and measurement of ESs and benefit analysis and stakeholder engagement, monetary evaluation and calculation of Net Present Value, economic implications (changes in land use/management) and possible financial mechanisms.

Module 4 focused on the integration of ecosystem services in policy planning through the presentation by Arjan de Groot from the Institute of GeoSciences and Geography, Department of Sustainable Landscape Development, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. His lecture covered topics such as: biodiversity and ecosystem services management, understanding management, market misbalances, indirect impacts, various policy instruments, financial mechanisms and potential products for communication and understanding the ecosystem services payment schemes.

Both modules involved group work on various topics and one of them, near the end of the training, was to identify potential instruments for policies and strategies for biodiversity conservation in N. Macedonia.

The training held as part of the Nature Conservation Programme (NCP), a project by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) and coordinated by Farmahem from Skopje, was attended by representatives of institutions and organizations that are involved in management and monitoring of natural heritage (already established protected areas, those in the process of being re-declared, etc.), as decision and policy makers.

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