IRSNCs one-day training unit was organized on 5th of October 2018 in the Ecomuseum of Landscape Park of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka. The title of the event was “The usefulness of the newly concept of ecosystem services”. The main objectives of the event were to present the final results of the AlpES project and test the concept of ecosystem services (ES) on the field. Training was well attended by representatives of IRSNC (Central Unit, Regional unit Nova Gorica), Slovenian Forestry Institute, Slovenian Water Agency, Landscape Park of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka, Škocjan Caves Regional Park, Notranjska regional park, The Regional Development Agency Green Karst and Municipality Pivka. We presented AlpES project, the concept of ES and main results/outcomes of the project. Anže Japelj presented maps of selected ES for our pilot region: grassland biomass, outdoor recreation and fuel wood. Dunja Mahne (RDA Green Karst) presented the objectives and intermediate outcomes of the project For BioEnergy.

Second part of the training day was dedicated to the participatory workshop. Participants worked in two groups on an example of seasonal lake Palško lake to identify all ES for four present ecosystems (forest, grassland, overgrown areas and lake) and to choose the most important ones. Altogether 16 important ES were selected that where afterwards analysed on the field next to the Palško lake. Two groups were dealing with the process of overgrowing of the lakes: one focused on the measure to eliminate the overgrowing of agricultural land/grasslands and one on leaving the process of overgrowing to be continued. Groups tried to assess the impact of those processes on selected ES, on biodiversity and on human well-being. Interesting debate while looking the “empty lake” was concluded with different views on how to assess ES and their connections to biodiversity. 

AlpES Transnational workshop with the title “Transnational workshop on indicators and methods for mapping of ecosystem services” was organized on Central unit of IRSNC on 13th of November 2018 and was attended by many different institutions and sectors: representatives of IRSNC (Central Unit), Slovenian Forestry Institute, Anton Melik Geographical Institute of The Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Slovenia Forest Service, Slovenian Water Agency, Municipality Ljubljana, Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies of the ZRC SAZU, The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, University of Ljubljana – Biotechnical Faculty and Consultancy company ZaVita. The main objectives of the workshop were to:

  • present the research field of mapping and assessment of ES and indicators,
  • present the results of projects and studies that developed indicators for assessments and methods for mapping of ES and mapped ES,
  • discuss the usefulness of indicators and maps of ES on different spatial levels.

First part of the workshop was dedicated to the presentation of the Slovenian ecosystem services partnership (SOES), its activities and one of the working groups that will focus on indicators and methods for mapping and assessment of ES. Suzana Vurunić and Anže Japelj presented the meaning of maps, different approaches and tiers for assessment/mapping, presentations of indicators and spatial units for mapping of ES. They also presented the MAES steps for national mapping of ES.

In the second part of the workshop five different projects/studies dealing with mapping and assessment of ES were presented: project ESPON GRETA (Blanka Bartol, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning), project Eco KARST (Aleksander Golob, Slovenia Forest Service), project AlpES (Suzana Vurunić, IRSNC; Anže Japelj, Slovenian Forestry Institute), trade-offs on an example of Ljubljana marshes (doctoral dissertation of Mateja Šmid Hribar, Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU) and Contribution of ecosystem services mapping to the environmental management in agricultural landscapes (Solen Le Clech‘, ETH Zurich).

The debate about mapping and assessment of ES in Slovenia continued in form of group work that focused on different spatial levels: national, regional, local level and ecosystem. Four group worked in form of a World café. Each group discussed about the 5 steps of MAES on mapping of ES and the knowledge, data and stakeholders we have/would need on each level. Moderators found out that it is very important to know what kind of data we already have and which stakeholders we need to include and especially that we need to be critical to the results in form of maps and their interpretation. We concluded that for now the most suitable level for mapping would be regional level. Implementation of the results on national level should be included in strategical documents where we set up priority objectives of the development. ES should be included in a descriptive way and not in form of maps.