|Abstract: ||Ecosystem services (ESs) deliver benefits to human beings by the provision of goods and services, by regulating or supporting natural processes in order to improve life quality, and by increasing the cultural level of the local societies. These services are produced by ecosystems, which is “dynamic complex[es] of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their nonliving environment interacting as a functional unit” (United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992: Article 2).
The goal of the paper is to discuss the role of ESs as factors that improve the effectiveness of Strategic environmental assessment (SEA)-based processes related to management plans (MPs) of sites that belong to the Natura 2000 Network in increasing their environmental quality.
The discussion is based on a logical framework (LF) which takes account of the identification of objectives related to the provision of ESs as tentative specification of the general objective of environmental sustainability which are the foundation of the SEA of MPs.
In the first section, we present a logical framework which relates the system of specific objectives of MPs to the system of specific objectives of Municipal masterplans (MMPs) as stated in their SEA reports, and discuss the issue of sustainability in the context therein. Consistency of specific objectives of MPs and MMPs should be granted in a sustainability-based perspective.
In the second section we analyze the question of provisioning ESs in the sustainability-oriented conceptual framework aimed at making MPs’ and MMPs’ objectives consistent with each other. In our view, the implementation of the MPs’ objectives into the sustainability-based framework of the SEA of MMPs, may possibly imply a loss of the ESs’ productive output due to measures adopted by the MPs in order to protect habitats and species. Our tentative conclusion is that a sustainability objective should be added to MPs and to MMPs, which may be possibly be integrated into the SEA reports of MPs and MMPs, that is, the output of provisioning ESs in the municipal area ruled by the MPs’ provisions should not decrease as a consequence of the implementation of the MPs’ regulation. We consider the MPs of the Site of the Natura 2000 Network named Site of Community Interest of Stagni di Colostrai e delle Saline (Wetlands of Colostrai and of Saline), located in Muravera, a municipality of Southern Sardinia, Italy.|