The project Ecosystem Services Assessment of the Basque Country began in 2008 with a project called Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in Bizkaia (MEA Bizkaia) funded by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and by the UNESCO Chair (UPV / EHU). The EEM Bizkaia formed part of the International Scientific Programme UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment with the aim of generating scientific knowledge about the consequences of changes in ecosystems due to the impact of management policies that can be applied in the public and private sectors as well as present possible response options.
The MEA Bizkaia was accepted as sub-global assessment (SGA) in the framework of the “Ecosystem Assessment Follow-up” on 1 December 2009. It was attended also by researchers at the UNESCO Chair (UPV / EHU), responsible the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in Spain, mainly on issues related to counseling and unification of methodologies and criteria and UNESCO Etxea (UNESCO Centre Basque Country) by spreading the project and value the same internationally.
In 2011 the project Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of the Basque Country financed by the Basque Government started in parallel with the MEA Bizkaia. The objectives sought were the same, although somewhat different lines of work because they wanted to work on a larger scale, as was the Basque Country, to find the applicability of the results in policies and sustainable management of the whole territory.
In 2014 finally they began the paperwork to begin a new journey together hand in hand and both projects started in 2015 with the projectEcosystem Services Assessment of the Basque Country in which efforts, methodologies, equipment and funding combined to achieve the objectives and meet the actions marked from Europe.
In the Biodiversity Strategy for 2020 developed by the European Commission in its Action 5, Member States are encouraged to have quantitatively assessed and mapped the ecosystem services by 2020. This strategy is the basis for the development of new policies (water framework, climate change, agricultural and marine policies, etc.), so comply with the actions marked in it is a major challenge for Euskadi.