Most resource management decisions are strongly influenced by ecosystem services entering markets (food, timber); as a result, the non-marketed benefits are often lost or degraded. These non-marketed benefits are often high and sometimes more valuable than the marketed ones – think about the clean water supply or clean air. Non-marketed ecosystem services forests are managed with different perspectives and it makes them the Enclaves of Life.
“Enclave is a portion of territory, surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct.” We target primarily the improvement of non-marketed ecosystem services, connected mainly with forests.
According to MEA (World Resources Institute, 2005), forest systems are lands dominated by trees; they are often used for timber, fuelwood, and non-wood forest products. Forests include temporarily cut-over forests and plantations but exclude orchards and agroforests where the main products are food crops. Forest systems are associated with the supporting, regulating, provision and cultural services.
As forests provide living spaces for plants and animals, they also maintain a diversity of complex processes that underpin the other ecosystem services. Some habitats have an exceptionally high number of species which makes them more genetically diverse than others; these are known as ‘biodiversity hotspots' or in our case: Enclave of life.
Strategic aspect of our work is to develop and reinforce networks, increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, share and confront ideas, practices and methods.
Tactically, on pilot sites, which are picked to be in different geographical areas, in various conditions and levels of maintenance, we aim to describe and learn about different management goals. We use small-scale forests as an example plots for creating ecosystems that provide many service groups, seen on the map of the project as well as forest-cards you can find under the results of the project.
The Enclaves of Life project turns our heads towards landowners who are interested to know how to take care of land and to create a nature management plan, according to their management aim. It also addresses experts from research, educational and other non-profit organizations with the possibility to use their recommendations and pilot findings in practice. In addition, the project turns to local communities, especially to young people with the possibility of taking care of the forest in the neighbourhood on a community level and to help hands-on to improve our environment. Learning from other countries' best-practices, we can develop national specific approaches towards ecosystem restoration activities.