Incorporating Biodiversity & Human Values into Planning
The ‘Green Infrastructure’ concept can be defined as ‘an interconnected network of green space that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions and provides associated benefits to human populations’. Like our grey infrastructure of roads and rail, our green infrastructure seeks to create a network of human and biodiversity value.
The promotion and development of the Green Infrastructure approach can assist in halting the loss of biodiversity and decline in ecosystem services while enhancing the human environment including our opportunities for recreation. Perhaps it is the case that biodiversity continues to decline because its value is not reflected in decision making by business and government. Green Infrastructure seeks to address this problem by providing a location-related evidence base which highlights the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services to the economy and society.
Valuing Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure planning allows for the integration of the value of biodiversity into business decisions in sectors such as agriculture and water supply, and also local and central Government decisions. Ecosystem services supplied by Green Infrastructure include:
- provisioning, such as the production of food and water,
- regulating, such as the control of climate and disease,
- supporting, such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination, and
- cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. (Comhar SDC).
Working with clients and partners across disciplines, Compass have been involved in a number of Green Infrastructure projects, with our staff providing policy and strategic guidance, as well as data collation, analysis and scenario testing services.
The diagram below shows a typical Green Infrastructure project implementation workflow.
For more on our latest Green Infrastructure work please view the Comhar Sustainable Development Council report: “Creating Green Infrastructure for Ireland: Enhancing natural capital for human wellbeing” – available by clicking here.