PROmoting the Governance of Regional Ecosystem ServiceS (PROGRESS)

Project summary

PROGRESS is an interregional co-operation project which aims to initiate a process of policy change for maintaining nature’s biodiversity, goods and services. The project brings together 6 regional partner organisations to exchange experience for the design, enhancement and implementation of policies protecting and valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services:

  • National Association of Italian Municipalities Tuscany, Italy
  • Riga Technical University, Latvia
  • Eastern & Midland Regional Assembly, Ireland
  • Tolna County Development Agency, Hungary
  • Ecologic Research and Forestry Applications Centre (CREAF), Spain
  • University of Craiova, Romania


This 4-year project started on 1 August 2019, was officially launched in Florence in October 2019 and will last until 31 July 2023.


Consideration of ecosystem services within local and regional policy-making across Europe has been largely limited to a narrow “do not touch – do not alter” narrative pertaining to ecological protection. Such an approach fails to recognise the multiple functions of ecosystems beyond biodiversity, extending to social and economic benefits, if managed in a sustainable and intelligent fashion.

PROGRESS addresses this limitation by bringing together local authorities and their associations, local development agencies, universities and research centres to build capacity for the design and implementation of policies and best practices which are sustainable, actionable and protect and value wide-ranging ecosystem services.

Overall objective:

The overall objective of the project is to initiate a process of policy change in the partner regions to improve the implementation of the policy instruments under Structural Funds programmes and other regional strategies dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and maintaining nature’s capacity to deliver wide-ranging goods and services, through policy learning and capacity building activities.

The sub-objective is to contribute to capacity building and policy learning in the partner regions by supporting exchange of experience among relevant stakeholders, in order to:

  • promote the measurement of the costs and benefits of ecosystem services derived from land use.
  • support the horizontal integration of ecosystem concerns into the sectoral policies and plans at regional and/or national level.
  • explore innovative financial and marketing mechanisms for payment for ecosystem services.
  • improve landscape governance for economic and environmental sustainability.


What will this project change?

PROGRESS will create a policy framework in participating regions which establishes a more central role for ecosystem services in providing solutions for regional development which are sustainable and actionable.

This will be achieved through policy learning and capacity building activities based on good practices identified in the partner regions and the development of 6 action plans that are specifically tailored to each region. These action plans should provide policy-makers with the knowledge and tools to swiftly develop and implement sustainable policies, business models and best practices which protect and value biodiversity and ecosystem services.


For more information on this project please visit:



Instagram: @interregeuropeprogress


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