Researcher of University of Latvia (LATVIA)
Topic name: VivaGrass – GIS tool to bring the concept of Ecosystem services into integrated planning
Ecosystem services are varied benefits that humans gain from the natural environment and from properly-functioning ecosystems. GIS tools play important role in operationalizing multilayered concepts such as concept of ecosystem services. VivaGrass tool is spatially explicit multi-module decision support system aimed to enhance the maintenance of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem services by providing spatially explicit decision support for landscape and spatial planning and sustainable grassland management. In our presentation we describe the structure of the VivaGrass tool, its main functionalities: the analysis of ecosystem service bundles, hot-spot and cold-spot areas, and the prioritization of areas for particular management practice based on ecosystem service supply potential. The tool was applied in spatial planning contexts and approbated in eight case study areas across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, each of them having different spatial and thematic scales, as well as different data availability.