Natures Contribution to People

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Human existence and wellbeing depends on functioning ecosystems, for example, for the provision of clean water, food, and timber. Ecosystems also regulate the climate and water recharge, improve the air and water quality, control erosion and diseases, and protect from natural hazards. Natural environments offer numerous opportunities for recreational activities and aesthetic experiences, in addition to contributing to inspiration and cultural heritage. These nature’s contributions to people (NCPs), also known as ecosystem services, are greatly influenced by human activities and decisions, such as the type of land use and land management. Therefore, it is highly important to deepen the understanding of human-nature relationships and to provide a scientific basis for decision-making by mapping and quantifying NCPs as well as by studying people’s preferences and perceived benefits. Our institute focuses on the assessment of NCPs in mountain regions across different spatial and temporal scales. We have strong expertise in mapping of NCPs based on environmental or socio-economic characteristics. We set high effort in the development of suitable indicators and models. Using questionnaires and social media data, we also aim at identifying people’s preferences related to mountain landscapes.

Related Projects

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Climate response of alpine lakes: resistance variability and management consequences for ecosystem ...

Duration: June 2019 - June 2022Funding:
Public institutions (Other projects /Project)

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Institute's Projects

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

What we do

Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

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