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Dutch students learn English from the Scots and help score ecosystem services

Two enterprising Dutch students contacted the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology requesting a one-week placement as part of their school's drive to encourage students to experience English speaking working environments. The students are interested in taking some form of science degree at university but with a year left at school have not yet decided on their area of specialisation. Jan Dick, lead scientist in the Cairngorm case study, while keen to encourage young scientists, does not believe it is fair to give them a false impression of how exciting science can be. Read more »

Photo: Dutch students score ecosystem services

OpenNESS and Oppla heavily featured during Green Week

‘Nature – our health, our wealth’ was the theme of this year’s EU Green week. Plenty of reason, therefore, for OpenNESS to participate in this annual large-scale environmental conference in Brussels. OpenNESS contributed by presenting and promoting its work in an exhibition stand as well as by its ‘Oppla agents’, cruising the conference venue, proactively raising awareness. Read more »

Photo: The Oppla agents,© Ben Delbaere

Case study blog: Green space in Oslo worth billions!

Many interesting things can be said about Oslo, the capital of Norway: It was founded one thousand years ago by Vikings, it is a relatively small and cosy city of about 650 000 inhabitants – but with the buzz of a bigger city due to its position as Norway’s biggest city and capital, it is allegedly the fastest growing metropolitan area in Europe these days, and it has green spaces within the city limits worth billions of Euros. But where are these billions, and what is important about them? Read the blog post from our Oslo case study, written by the SME Vista Analyse »

Photo: View from Holmenkollen, Oslo, © Wikimedia Commons

Evaluation of the OpenNESS approach by local people

Last weekend 16 and 17 May, the Cairngorms Nature Festival took place in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. The weekend is organized each year to inspire and engage people to take an interest in the Park. OpenNESS had a stand at the festival to report back the results of the work they have conducted in the area. At the stand, local people could discover the scientific tools employed, and their utility was assessed via an interactive quiz. Read more »

Photo: Social survey quiz

OpenNess highlighted at recent Ecosystem Service Community Scotland meeting

OpennESS was well represented at the ecosystem service community of Scotland (ESCOM) meeting in Edinburgh by three keynote speakers. Allan Watt, CEH, highlighted in the Uptake and Evaluation session the link between Scotland and Europe and Andy Wells, Crown Estate presented the integrated valuation work conducted in Glenlivet Estate from the business perspective. Esther Carmen was also a key note speaker in the Knowledge and Decision Support session reporting on the 'knowledge needs - moving from the conceptual to practice'. Read more »

Photo: Ester Carmen speech about knowledge needs informing tools, methods & outputs, © ESCom Scotland

OpenNESS: the results are starting to take shape

The 2nd OpenNESS Annual Meeting took place in Barcelona from 20-24 April 2015 and was hosted by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). The aim of the meeting was to review interim results and discuss the next steps in implementing the integrated research design. A special focus was on presenting the 27 OpenNESS case studies, which provided the consortium with valuable insights and inspiring experiences. Read more »

Photo: The meeting took place in the beautiful Casa Convalescència

New OpenNESS synthesis paper on green infrastructure published

The next chapter of the OpenNESS Ecosystem Services Reference Book has been published. The new Synthesis Paper - generated by OpenNESS members - analyses the concept of Green Infrastructure (GI). GI is gaining political momentum and has been rapidly introduced in both planning theory and policy, especially in US and Europe. Considering the overall goals of the OpenNESS project and its variety of case studies, it is important to have a clear idea about how the concept can be operationalised in practice, despite its inherent conceptual complexity and ambiguity. Read more »

Image: The scales of GI planning

Intensifying cooperation with OPERAs

Attending some intensive days at the OPERAs project meeting in Dublin strengthened the connections with OpenNESS. As both projects aim at operationalizing the concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services, it makes very good sense to ensure synergies and integration and to look where we can jointly complement and enrich each other. It was therefore good to see that work in both projects is converging on topics such as decision trees, synthesising knowledge, lessons learned from stakeholder engagement in case studies and exemplars, outreach and communication. Read more »

Photo: Fingal, Christine O'Daly

Meet our new OpenNESS research fellow

From this February onwards, the Belgian scientist Sander Jacobs enforces the OpenNESS community at INBO in Brussels. He will mainly be involved in ecosystem services demand analysis, looking at spatial and institutional scales, the challenge to quantify and spatially visualize and compare them, and the (decision-making) consequences of mismatches between supply and demand. Sander very kindly answered a couple of questions about himself. Read the full interview »

Photo: Sander Jacobs

The ACES 2014 conference: linking science, practice and decision-making

The ACES – A Community on Ecosystem Services – 2014 conference, bringing together a dynamic and growing assembly of professionals, researchers, and policy makers involved with ecosystem services, took place from 8-12 December 2014 in Washington DC. There were over 500 participants from over 30 nations, including leaders from all levels of the US government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector. Three OpenNESS partners contributed to the conference, participating in the plenary panels, giving presentations on OpenNESS and presenting posters. Read more »

Photo: Paula Harrison and Mark Rounsevell (OPERAs coordinator) next to the joint poster on Oppla.

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