Sieber, I.M., Montero-Hidalgo, M., Kato-Huerta, J., Rendon, P., Santos-Martín, F., Geneletti, D., Gil, A., Trégarot, E., Lagabrielle, E., Parelho, C., Arbelo, M., van Beukering, P., Bayley, D., Casas, E., Duijndam, S., Cillaurren, E., David, G., Dourdain, A., Haroun, R., Maréchal, J-P., Martín García, L., Otero-Ferrer, F., Palacios Nieto, E., Pelembe, T., Vergílio, M. & Burkhard, B. (2022) Mapping and assessing ecosystem services in Europe`s Overseas: A comparative analysis of MOVE case studies. One Ecosystem, 7, e87179. DOI:10.3897/oneeco.7.e87179.
Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) has been widely applied on the European Union (EU) mainland, whereas the EU Overseas entities still bear potential for implementation. This paper presents novel applications of the MAES procedure in the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories ("EU Overseas"). Eight case studies from different geographical areas were analysed through a comparative assessment by applying an established framework following key steps in the MAES process, in order to stipulate lessons learned and recommendations for MAES in the EU Overseas. These key steps include the identification of policy questions, stakeholder networks and involvement, application of MAES methods, dissemination and communication and implementation. The case studies were conducted and analysed under the umbrella of the EU MOVE pilot project, including the Azores, the Canary Islands, Saint Martin, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion Island and the Falkland Islands. Each case study represented different governance, policy and decision-making frameworks towards biodiversity and environmental protection. Case studies predominantly addressed the policy domains of Nature and Biodiversity Conservation and Marine and Maritime Policy. Ecosystem Services (ES) were assessed across a wide range of themes, biomes and scales, focusing on terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. Results show that the implementation of the case studies was accompanied by extensive communication and dissemination activities. First success stories were visible, where the MAES exercise led to meaningful uptake of the ES concept to policies and decision-making. Yet, there is still work to be done - major bottlenecks were identified related to the MAES implementation centring around financial resources, training and technical expertise. Addressing these aspects can contribute to an enhanced implementation of MAES in the EU Overseas in the future.