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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

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 at ACES 2014 from over 30 nations, including leaders from all levels of the US government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector.

The conference provided a venue for synthesizing the research, methods, tools, policies and cultural values needed to more routinely and effectively incorporate ecosystem services into decision-making. There were many opportunities to share advances in science and practice, and to continue to build the ecosystem service community.

Three OpenNESS partners contributed to the conference: WP3 leader Paula Harrison, WP1 leader Marion Potschin and Roy Haines-Young. Paula participated in the plenary panel on ‘Climate Change and Ecosystem Services’, while Roy participated in the plenary panel on ‘International Perspectives on Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision-Making: Science and Practice’. Several session presentations on OpenNESS were also given along with two posters on the Oppla common platform being developed with OPERAs and the CICES ecosystem service classification.

The conference extended over five days and included workshops, plenary and parallel sessions, town halls, and posters. Session topics included biophysical science and the production of ecosystem services, the interrelationship between human well-being and ecosystem services, the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and their services, monetary and non-monetary valuation techniques, and the role of traditional ecological knowledge.

All the plenary sessions were recorded and will be posted on the ACES website soon. A photo album is online already at

Photo: Roy Haines-Young (left), © Dmitry Chetverukhin Photography

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