Environmental protection and management policies continue to be drawn up in the EU, and it is becoming increasingly important to evaluate ecosystems.
Ecosystem services assessments have been incorporated into various EU planning documents, including the Biodiversity Strategy 2011 – 2020, which requires Member States to identify, map and assess ecosystems and their services.
In other countries, monetary assessments of ecosystems and their services are widely carried out, and the decision-making process is based on these results. In Latvia, however, such practices have not yet been introduced.
Inappropriate and non-sustainable territorial planning often is a result from a lack of management strategies and ecosystem evaluation approaches. In order to explain the importance of natural capital to decision makers, entrepreneurs and the general public, it is essential to assess the monetary, social and biohysical value of ecosystems.