Ecosystem services are the material and non-material benefits people obtain from ecosystems. The term and concept of ecosystem services has been popularized by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) published in 2005. Four main categories of ecosystem services are distinguished in MEA, those are: provisioning, supporting, regulating and cultural services (for more information on ecosystem services please go to: (http://www.unep.org/maweb/en/index.aspx).
Referring to ecosystem services concept from one hand facilitates systemic approach to investigated issues and from the other hand – enhances dialogue
among different stakeholders engaged in nature/landscape conservation.
Within LINKAGE project we analyze legal and strategic documents in terms of occurrence of references to the term ‘ecosystem services’ and its context. We investigate whether and to what extent public policy of nature conservation and landscape protection refers to ecosystem services and what kinds of services are targeted the most commonly. In the further research based on participatory mapping techniques we will explore how different stakeholders (e.g. experts and lay people) recognize and value ecosystem services in a certain area.