Seeking to boost sustainable development based on nature, Canoas, RS, developed its Diagnosis of Ecosystem Services between July 2022 and March 2023. Made in partnership with ICLEI, the Diagnosis consists of an assessment that provides decision makers with a clear and accessible tool to boost the integration of nature in urban planning. Based on a participatory methodology, with data collection aligned and validated by the technical staff and managers of the municipality, the data obtained on the offer of Ecosystem Services, as well as threats present in the municipality, are summarized in the Illustrated Map of Ecosystem Services of Canoas.


The illustration of the results is an excellent communication and awareness tool about the benefits of nature. The understanding of the Ecosystem Services provided in the territory by the population encourages greater engagement and support from the local community. The population is able to give value and visibility to the actions carried out for the benefit and protection of nature in cities, such as the conservation of squares, linear parks and even urban afforestation, as well as pressing for their execution or expansion. Thus, city hall actions can be leveraged and gain scale in the territory.


The current context of climate emergency and loss of biodiversity generates continuous and increasing challenges for local governments. In Rio Grande do Sul, the scenario is no different: the consequences of climate change and loss of biodiversity already generate significant impacts on natural, agricultural and urban systems. Inserted in this context, the municipality of Canoas is also threatened by the negative effects of these combined crises. At the same time, the area has a significant ecological relevance, with a variety of natural spaces and the occurrence of typical fauna and flora that, however, are generally present in the surroundings of the urban fabric. Even so, even under threat, this richness and biological diversity provide several benefits for the city and the population.


The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) refers to the benefits, in the form of goods and services, that people obtain from ecosystems, that is, the different ways in which we depend on nature. Anthropogenic actions impact the conditions of ecosystems and, therefore, the supply of ecosystem services. Local governments are particularly important in promoting sustainable, equitable and nature-based development.