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OpenNESS at the Belgian Ecosystem Services Community Christmas market

There was a lot of networking and exchanging going on at the Belgian Ecosystem Services Community (BEES) Christmas market. For the first time in its three years existence BEES organized this national event to share knowledge and practices on ecosystem services. The OpenNESS project contributed a European flavour to the event with a stand, which was combined by project partners ECNC and INBO, who presented the two Belgian case studies. Read more »

Photo: OpenNESS stand at BEES Christmas market, © Ben Delbaere

Brrr-ace yourselves! Cairngorms: The Winter Edition

Despite warnings of strong winds and snow forecast for the North of Scotland, Jan Dick and Cecilia Zagaria set off from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on a late December afternoon. Equipped with designed maps and questionnaires, they boarded the much needed pick-up truck with the purpose to run a pilot survey for the spatial investigation of community values for cultural ecosystem services in Glenlivet Estate, deep within the snowy ridges of the Cairngorms National Park. Read more »

Photo: Cecilia Zagaria at Tomintoul, Glenlivet Estate, Cairngorms National Park

OpenNESS Training Workshop on Integrated Assessment and Valuation

OpenNESS organised a training workshop on 19-21 November 2014 in Edinburgh on how to quantify, map and value ecosystem services. The workshop offered a chance for project partners to work on practical examples from the OpenNESS case studies through hands-on guided sessions with experts from work package 3 and 4. It highlighted the importance of considering the full cascade of interactions from the biophysical underpinning of the supply of ecosystem services to their demand and value by a range of beneficiaries. Read more »

Photo: © Francis Turkelboom

Scenarios reflecting possible developments of the EU regulatory frameworks

The OpenNESS work package on Regulatory frameworks and drivers of change (WP2) met on 4 and 5 November in Berlin. The goal was, on the one hand, to present the current state of the different tasks and, on the other hand, to start discussing integrating the policy analysis of EU regulatory frameworks with the scenario work. The meeting provided a promising starting point to synthesise work within the work package. Read more »

Photo: WP2 meeting participants © Eeva Primmer

Ecosystem services support thriving business in Portuguese montado

During a meeting of the user board of the OPERAs project (the European research project with which OpenNESS cooperates on operationalising natural capital and ecosystem services) we visited an agricultural enterprise in the montado. The montado is the Portuguese version of the unique Iberian cork oak landscape that is known for its high level of biodiversity and its scenic beauty. In OPERAs one of their ‘exemplars’ is the Companhia das Lezirias, a large estate that practises sustainable agriculture to produce cork, rice, maize, meat, olives and so forth. Read more »

Photo: Montado Companhia das Lezirias © Ben Delbaere

Jointly developing Oppla

The Oppla team (participants from OpenNESS and OPERAs developing a common platform) met on 20-21 October in Brussels to take stock of progress and agree next steps. Good progress was made since the previous meeting in Edinburgh last July, where the team focused on the business plan for developing Oppla. This is an important component in the process, as the platform will need to continue beyond the project life span as an independent entity. Read more »

Photo: The Oppla team, by Jonathan Porter ©

OpenNESS participates in the French millennium ecosystem assessment

At 8 October the IRSTEA team (National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture in France) working on Case 05 - Regional and national forest management planning in the French Alps Vercors Mts Range, participated in the first workshop organized by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy under the French assessment of ecosystems and their services for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment at the national level. Read more »

Photo: Patrizia Tenerelli presenting OpenNESS

Operationalising QuickScan in the Cairngorms

On a wet blustery day fifteen local stakeholders met with a seven-person OpenNESS team in Tomintoul, the highest village in the Scottish Highlands. They met to discuss their general knowledge needs in relation to the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Landscape Partnership and specifically to evaluate the utility of geospatial planning software QuickScan and the cascade conceptual framework. Read more »

Photo: Local stakeholder presenting feedback from his breakout group during the QuickScan session at the Crown Estate office in Tomintoul, Scotland

OpenNESS radio interview about valuation of ecosystem services

On the 4th October 2014, the regional radio station of Extremadura interviewed Berta Martín-López from the UAM partner of OpenNESS about the operationalization of the ecosystem services concept in the real world. The programme is called ‘Uncertainty Principle’ and it’s the space for research and science in the Extremadura radio channel. Read more »

Photo: Jorge Solís of Extremadura's regional radio station presents the programme ‘Uncertainty Principle’

A new research fellow for OpenNESS

The Centre for Environmental Management (CEM) at the University of Nottingham recently employed a new research fellow in ecosystems and health for OpenNESS, named Conor Kretsch. He will mainly work for Work Package 1 – particularly looking at how conceptual frameworks can be utilised to develop understanding of links between ecosystem services and well-being and competitiveness, and how these frameworks can inform strategies for land use and resource management, and governance structures. Conor kindly answered a couple of questions about himself, his background and what he expects from his contribution to OpenNESS. Read the full interview »

Photo: Conor Kretsch

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