Biodiversity policy is increasingly influenced by evidence about the role of biodiversity in the provision of ecosystem services. However, the current state of scientific knowledge and empirical evidence is inconclusive and does not provide a sufficiently robust basis to make definite statements about whether securing the provision of specific ecosystem services will also guarantee biodiversity conservation, and vice versa. Conserving land for biodiversity purposes is often beneficial for some ecosystem services but at the expense of other ecosystem services. This is especially the case in many European landscapes where human activities have since long shaped biodiversity and landscapes. CONNECT aims at improving and integrating existing research methods from natural and social sciences for the analysis of potential synergies, conflicts and associated tradeoffs in support of effective policy and management.
The main outcomes of CONNECT are: 1) an empirically tested decision-support framework for analysis of synergies and tradeoffs between biodiversity, ecosystem services and associated socioeconomic benefits, and 2) practical guidelines for the design of effective conservation policies based on improved scientific understanding of the relationship between ecosystem services and biodiversity.