Applying the ecosystem services concept to derive environmental specific protection goals brings the potential for greater spatial resolution in chemical risk assessment, i.e. specific protection goals can be derived for specific land-uses or landscape typologies. It, therefore, can be considered as one approach that could facilitate increasing the environmental relevance of risk assessments, a need identified by several scientific advisory groups, e.g. EC Scientific Committees. Whilst increasing environmental relevance in this way has scientific merit, the practical outcome of defining spatially explicit protection goals to inform risk assessment for a range of chemical sectors requires further investigation and evaluation. The Task Force recommends that such further work is initiated to more fully determine the practical application of the ecosystem services approach. One such activity is the CEFIC LRi project, ECO 27, Chemicals: Assessment of Risks
to Ecosystem Services (CARES), which was initiated in 2015 to gain a consensus between regulatory, academic and industrial stakeholders for a road map for implementing an ecosystem services approach to informing chemical risk assessment. The project will be completed early 2017.
The EFSA framework represents a top-down approach for deriving specific protection goals for habitats expected to be exposed to specified anthropogenic chemicals. In principle, the framework can be applied to a broad range of chemicals and exposure scenarios. With modifications, clarity on terminology / definitions and further development and guidance, the framework could provide a methodical approach for the identification and prioritisation of ecosystems and services which are most at risk. Prioritised habitats and key service providing units could form the focus for subsequent risk assessment