Mapping and evaluation of ecosystem services

Sofiaplan adapts the national methodology for mapping and biophysical assessment of ecosystem services in order to plan and inform the management of green and blue infrastructures in Sofia Municipality. The project is being developed in cooperation with the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research and the Institute of Forests of BAS.

Its purpose is to draw up a concept for integrating ecosystem approach and ecosystem services in spatial planning policies and instruments. Ecosystem Services is a concept that represents the benefits that people receive from the environment. This includes the tangible goods and services needed to carry out economic activities such as the provision of drinking water, but also the intangible: the benefits of regulatory processes in ecosystems such as regulation / prevention of floods and other natural disasters, air and water treatment, regulation of microclimate, ensuring the circulation of substances and others. These services also include the cultural benefits that people receive from nature - recreational, aesthetic, educational, spiritual, research, and more.

The methodology for mapping and biophysical assessment will be based on that adopted at national level, further developing the parameters and the GIS part on a larger scale. Initially, the methodology will be pilot tested in a selected sub-district of the Sofia Municipality, and in the next stage it can be applied for the purposes of spatial urban planning.