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7th Annual ESP Conference with strong OpenNESS involvement

Over 300 scientists gathered at the 7th International Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP) Conference 2014 in Costa Rica last week (8-12 September) to discuss the latest developments in ecosystem service assessment. The theme for this year's conference was 'local action for the common good' chosen to stress that the importance of the continued provision of ecosystem services often depends on local communities, which is not sufficiently recognised in local and national policies. Read more »

Photo: David Barton during his keynote speech

Refining maps, models and methodologies

OpenNESS analyses innovation in methods by way of practical testing in repeated cycles of application and refinement, drawing on experience from the case studies.
Six spatially-explicit methods for investigating the effects of drivers of change on ecosystem services were selected and guidelines for their application were developed. A training session on these methods was held at the 1st Annual meeting in Budapest to take case studies through each method with illustrations from some of them. Read more »

Photo: Training session on non-monetary valuation

Students in Brazil test Ecosystem Service Mapping App developed by OpenNESS

During a postgraduate course at UNESP (Rio Claro, Brazil) about 'Socio-Environmental Systems', students have been testing the smartphone-based ecosystem service mapping application (ESM-App) developed by OpenNESS partner UFZ in case study 'Bioenergy-related synergies and trade-offs in ES provision in Central Germany'. Read more »

Photo: OpenNESS scientists discussing with farmer (centre) and mapping ecosystem services in rural areas, interior São Paulo.

Glorious sunshine to discuss ecosystem service valuation

The case study team of Glenlivet Estate in Cairngorms, Scotland, organised amazing weather for David Barton (NINA, Norway) and his family when he visited to discuss valuation methods in connection with OpenNESS. While his family tested the new bike trail (recreational ecosystem service), David discussed a range of valuation techniques with Andy Wells, Fiona Simpson and Vicky Hilton of Crown Estate; Faye Gonzalez and Tom Richmond from Smith Gore, and; Jan Dick and Ron Smith, the local OpenNESS researchers from CEH.

Photo: Team enjoys open air meeting at Glenlivet Bike Hub, Cairngorms, Scotland

OpenNESS paper on ecosystem accounting in Ecosystem Services journal

The online version of the OpenNESS paper 'Lessons learned for spatial modelling of ecosystem services in support of ecosystem accounting' is available from August onwards. It will be included in the Ecosystem Services special issue which is scheduled for April 2015. Assessment of ecosystem services through spatial modelling plays a key role in ecosystem accounting. Spatial models for ecosystem services try to capture spatial heterogeneity with high accuracy. This endeavour, however, faces several practical constraints. Read more »

Synthesis paper on non-monetary valuation of ecosystem services published

The fifth chapter of the OpenNESS Ecosystem Services Reference Book is out now. The new synthesis paper - generated by OpenNESS members ESSRG, UAM and UAB - deals with non-monetary techniques for the valuation of ecosystem services. Non-monetary valuation methods explore the importance, preferences, needs, or demands expressed by people towards nature and articulate plural values in qualitative or quantitative measures other than money. In the last decade science and policy have paid growing attention to this methodological field, which is also reflected by the increasing number of scientific papers and policy documents which underline the key role of non-monetary methods in ecosystem services valuation. Read more »

New OpenNESS synthesis paper on stakeholder involvement

The fourth chapter of the OpenNESS Ecosystem Services Reference Book has been published. The latest synthesis paper written by four of our OpenNESS members deals with stakeholder involvement in decision-making and research. Stakeholder involvement refers to participation of interest groups (i.e. representatives of locally affected communities, national or local government authorities, politicians, civil society organizations and businesses) in a planning or decision-making process. The levels and forms of stakeholder involvement are manifold from informing people to knowledge co-production. Read more »

OpenNESS project team takes stock of progress

OpenNESS is now a third of the way through its planned duration of four and a half years and we are making good progress. This was the main conclusion reached at a two-day meeting of the Project Steering Committee, partly combined with the project’s International Advisory Board and the Project Science Review Group. The meeting was hosted by OpenNESS partner Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GMBH – UFZ at beautiful Machern Castle, near Leipzig, Germany, on 10 and 11 July, and was attended by some 15 participants. Read more »

Photo: Castle Machern, © Ben Delbaere

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