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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

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.

A key component for integration between both projects is Oppla, called an OPERAs + OpenNESS love child in one of the meeting’s tweets! Indeed, Oppla is developed to become the single platform for access to knowledge, resources, and experiences in support of the aim for operationalization. During the meeting the participants identified what knowledge, tools, cases or services they will be able to contribute to Oppla and how they intend to make use of the platform. This provides essential input into the development of the prototype by end of April and further versions beyond that time.

Oppla =love child of @OPERAsProject + @OpenNESS_eu. Web portal under design to support science-policy to operationalize #ecosystemservices.

— Kim Nicholas (@KA_Nicholas) March 11, 2015

The OPERAs meeting, hosted by the very welcoming partner University College Dublin, was attended by some 70 people from the OPERAs project, its advisory board, and an OpenNESS member. The programme included a series of plenary work package sessions with flash talks from individual researchers, an Oppla and user board session, breakout groups on contributions to Oppla, and many networking opportunities. One of those opportunities was a half-day field trip to the urban-rural fringe exemplar in Fingal, just north of Dublin. Here, the difficult trade-offs in spatial planning, affecting various ecosystem services, and the way in which local stakeholders are involved were illustrated on the sunlit but windy coast.

Photo: Fingal, Christine O'Daly