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Using ecosystem services in spatial planning Opportunities and actions

The concept of ecosystem services represents an approach to support the protection and sustainable use of nature and landscapes. In planning processes, it can be used to assess the contributions ecosystems provide to human well-being, to weigh them against other interests, and to support transparent decision-making. If ecosystem services were central in spatial planning, they could improve the protection of natural resources. This position paper presents ten propositions that illustrate how the concept of ecosystem services can be used in spatial planning. 

The working group “Ecosystem Services in Spatial Planning” of the Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL) has developed these recommendations and suggests specific approaches for better protection of nature and landscape. They address three topics: benefits, implementation options, and actions required. The propositions shall motivate the implementation of the ecosystem services concept in spatial planning and initiate transformative processes towards sustainable spatial development. 

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