SENCE (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation)

Overview
Description: 

SENCE (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation) underpins evidence-based decision-making on natural capital and ecosystem services in a spatial context through maps, diagrams and reports. It is based on the concept that the capability of an area of land to deliver generate ecosystem services depends on factors including habitat, soil and geology, landform and hydrology, how land is managed and how it is culturally understood.

The tool is intended to be used to help decision-makers understand the impact of land management decisions on ecosystem services. This should help them to reach more balanced and sustainable decisions where there are trade-offs between increased provision of food, energy and water to meet the demands of a growing population, and the hidden and more visible services provided by ecosystems.

Input: 

GIS datasets (existing spatial data). Other data sources such as earth observation and remotely sensed data can be used.

Output: 
Maps
Tables / statistics / reports
Scale: 
Local scale
Landscape scale
Regional scale
National scale
Multi-scale
Cost of the tool (and guidance): 
Fee (consultancy service)
Context: 
A range of land uses, one of the tool’s strength is its adaptability to a wide range of scenarios pertaining to ecosystem service generation.
Resource requirement (software): 
SENCE is provided as a series of maps and statistics which can be delivered on an interactive dashboard, or as GIS ready layers’ inclusion in customer’s systems. Guidance documents on the output maps can also be supplied.
Level of technical expertise required: 
Internet use skills
None – tool is run in-house by a consultant
Types of ecosystem service included: 
Regulating
Provisioning
Supporting
Cultural
Habitat type (UK NEA habitats): 
Mountains, moors and heaths
Semi-natural grasslands
Enclosed farmland
Woodland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Urban
Marine
Coastal margins
How does it work?: 

SENCE provides a scientifically robust evidence to show where the environment is working well, currently providing ecosystem services and natural capital including how we can we use the environment to avoid serious issues, such soil erosion, water pollution and flooding. SENCE also includes maps showing the best places to site new nature-based solutions such as planting woodland to realise both carbon sequestration and gains for biodiversity. SENCE uses key attributes to model the contribution each area of land makes considering the habitat or land cover, topography and hydrology, soil and geology, climate impacts and management activities. The tool is based on extensive scientific evidence base from research on; ecology, landscape function, ecosystem services, natural capital, restoration ecology, carbon cycling / sequestration /values and climate impacts. SCENCE uses open source, available data supplemented with remote sensing data and AI models to deliver the most up-to-date understanding of each area of land.

Where can I get it?: