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OPENNESS Informe resumido

Project ID: 308428
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
País: Finland


Project Context and Objectives:
The overall objective of the OpenNESS project is to translate the concepts of ecosystem services (ES) and natural capital (NC) into operational frameworks that provide tested, practical and tailored solutions for informing sustainable land, water and urban management at different locales and scales. The specific objectives are the following:

1. To advance conceptual understanding of ES and NC and provide operational frameworks for application of the concepts in real-world management and decision-making situations.
2. To examine how existing and forthcoming EU regulatory frameworks and other key drivers of change can enhance or restore the benefits from ES and NC.
3. To develop and refine approaches for mapping and modelling the biophysical control of ES that can be used to assess the effectiveness of mechanisms, instruments and best management practices for sustaining ES delivery in the face of multiple uncertain drivers whilst conserving biodiversity.
4. To develop hybrid methodologies that address trade-offs, synergies, and conflicting interests and values in the use of ES through a combination of monetary, non-monetary and deliberative methods with multi-criteria and Bayesian approaches for decision support.
5. To apply the concepts and methods developed and refined in the project to concrete, place-based case studies in a range of social-ecological systems with stakeholders and analyse the implications of local, regional and EU level decisions on ES flows and use in other parts of the world.
6. To translate the results into policy recommendations and integrate the outputs in a Menu of Multi-Scale Solutions and associated datasets which are available for ES users and managers as well as decision-makers.
7. To disseminate the results to reach a broad audience and to promote and maintain science-policy dialogue on the use of the concepts of ES and NC.

The OpenNESS work programme integrates methodological advances and empirical analysis in an iterative cycle of application and refinement that draws on experience from real-world case studies (Figure 1 and Figure 2):

1. WP1 creates the foundation for the overall work programme in advancing conceptual understanding and providing operational frameworks for the key ES and NC challenges related to human well-being, sustainable land and water management, governance and competitiveness.
2. WPs 2 to 4 are developing the methods related to policy and scenario analysis. WP2 is developing participatory multi-scale scenario approaches to analyse drivers of ecosystem change, including existing and forthcoming EU regulatory frameworks. WP3 focuses on biophysical control of ES and is developing a range of spatially-explicit methods for investigating the effects of multiple drivers on ES supply. WP4 focuses on the demand for ES and is developing a hybrid evaluation framework that takes into account both monetary and non-monetary value dimensions of ES. These WPs are working together to develop cross-cutting methodologies such as Bayesian Belief Networks and multi-criteria evaluation methods.
3. The focal point of the research is the application and testing of the methodologies and concepts from WPs 1 to 4 in a coherent set of real-world case studies in WP5 so that operational issues can be identified and good practice discovered.
4. Results from the case studies are being integrated into coherent databases, guidelines and recommendations by WP6 into a Common Platform, currently called Oppla.
5. WP7 promotes the science-policy interface and the uptake of results including by business.

Project Results:
The project has made excellent progress towards its objectives. All deliverables and milestones due in the first and second reporting period have been completed successfully and are submitted to the European Commission (see Table 1).

Following the OpenNESS iterative research design, the second cross-WP workshop (Milestone MS13) took place 20-24 April 2015 together with the 2nd Annual Meeting (to minimize travel), and the third cross-WP workshop (Milestone MS14) was held 5-9 October 2015. The 3rd cross-WP workshop was held ahead of the schedule so that case study partners had sufficient time to carry out the Deliverable D5.4 assessment with their Case Study Advisory Boards. In addition, WP3 and WP4 organized a joint workshop on 19-21 November 2014 to explore the integration of quantitative ES mapping and biophysical models in WP3 with monetary and non-monetary valuation methods in WP4, as well as to provide training and support for case studies using the WP3/4 methods. A WP5 meeting was organized back-to-back with the workshop, on 17-18 November 2014, in order to plan the content of Deliverables D5.2 as well as start discussions in relation to D5.3 and D5.4, due in the third reporting period, which report the lessons learned from the case studies.

WP1 has promoted conceptual understanding about ES and NC and related terminology. The OpenNESS Ecosystem Service Reference Book has been finalized with a total of 27 Synthesis Papers published on the project website. Most consortium partners contributed to this major effort, coordinated by WP1. WP1 has also prepared a Glossary with over 200 defined terms, which went through an intensive internal consultation. WP7 published it in an interactive way on the OpenNESS website. WP1 has also finalized the set of preliminary guidelines for testing the conceptual frameworks in real-word situations (Deliverable D1.3). The Cascade Model and CICES categories are being applied and tested in many of the OpenNESS case studies.

WP2 has produced a policy analysis of key regulatory frameworks within Europe (Deliverable D2.1) and a scientific paper on drivers of ES change (Deliverable D2.2). A set of generic European scenarios has been developed (Milestone MS5) and these are being tested in five OpenNESS case studies and used as input for global and European scale ES models in WP3. The case study evidence for policy recommendations for the EU level or national/regional level was elicited in the 2nd cross-WP workshop and the work was continued in the 3rd cross-WP workshop. During the third reporting period, this work will result in policy briefs as well as a scientific publication on the ways in which regulatory frameworks and policies enable or constrain consideration of ES in decision-making.

WP3 has completed a systematic review of linkages between NC and ES, covering data from 690 journals and 13 ecosystem services. The findings from the review are reported in Deliverable D3.1 (Database and operational classification system of different types of ES – NS relationships) and are being used to provide guidance to the case studies on the biotic and abiotic attributes that support the services of interest within their case. Guidelines describing the set of methods for mapping and modelling ES supply (Deliverable D3.2) have been developed for the six spatially-explicit methods for investigating the effects of drivers of change on ES, selected for closer attention during the first period. Biophysical variables and threshold values needed for economic valuation (MS7) have been provided to WP4 and a list of factors that determine the suitability of a given financial mechanism or instrument for a particular ecosystem management situation has been developed.

WP4 has developed a framework for integration of valuation methods to assess ES policies, reported as Deliverable 4.2 and preliminary guidelines for integrated assessment and valuation of ES in specific policy contexts, reported as Deliverable D4.3. The SME Hugin Expert A/S in collaboration with WP4 has been developing the functionality for the software platform for decision analysis, reported in Deliverable D4.5 as well as a beta-version of the OpenNESS-HUGIN platform (MS10). WP4 and WP3 have worked closely in integrating biophysical methods with valuation methods as well as in developing method templates and decision trees to support method selection. This joint work will feed into Deliverables D3.4 and D4.4 and the Oppla platform. The decision to develop demo-versions of decision-trees constitutes MS9, and the development is carried out in close cooperation with WP1, which is defining research questions related to key challenges for specific ES problems in the case studies (MS2) and linking these to relevant methods to address these problems.

WP5 has produced a progress report on the 27 case studies (Deliverable D5.2) containing both qualitative and quantitative information about the status of the case study work and interim results. Together with the 27 case study representatives WP5 has designed a questionnaire approach to collect feedback on the practical advantages and limitations of ES and NC assessment from practitioners (i.e. Case Study Advisory Board members). The information collected via the questionnaires will feed into the Deliverable D5.4 Review paper reporting the case studies during the third reporting period.

OpenNESS and OPERAs projects have continued close cooperation in the development of the Common Platform (CP), named as Oppla, which combines the OpenNESS Clearinghouse and OPERAs Resource Hub. Together with OPERAs, an Initial Scoping Document for the CP (Deliverable D6.4), a demonstration version of the CP (Deliverable D6.5) and draft wire frames for the CP (MS16) have been produced, which were then developed further (MS19) on the basis of feedback from both consortia and the OPERAs User Board.

Internal and external communication is promoted by WP7 via a bi-annually internal Update Letter and external OpenNESS Newsflashes as well as Policy Briefs, a paper in a professional journal (Deliverable D7.5), Twitter feeds, project web page, LinkedIn group, Oppla video and ALTER-Net Summer School as well as presentations in academic and policy conferences and events (see Deliverable D7.3). An SME event was held on 28 October 2015 in Brussels and preparations for the Policy Day in March 2016 and OpenNESS and OPERAs Final Conference in September 2016 are underway. OpenNESS has published around 40 scientific publications, which can be found from the project website:

Potential Impact:
The expected major outcomes of OpenNESS will be the following:
1. A critical and tested understanding of the strengths and limitations of the concepts of ES and NC as an operational framework that can be used to address the four key challenges: human well-being, sustainable land and water management, governance and competitiveness.
2. Guidelines on how to mainstream the concepts of ES and NC into existing and forthcoming EU regulatory frameworks and to improve decision- making at different governance levels; and the development of participatory multi-scale scenarios to analyse the direct and indirect drivers of change in relation to NC stocks and ES provision.
3. The development of operational approaches, and biophysical methods and models, designed to deliver spatially-explicit quantified information on ES at multiple spatial and temporal scales; and best practice guidance on the potential of financial and governance mechanisms and instruments to sustain and restore ES.
4. A hybrid valuation framework that can take into account both monetary and non-monetary value dimensions of ES and NC, and that be used by stakeholders to determine trade-offs and synergies; and the development of innovative methods for integrating ES modelling and valuation that capture uncertainties in a transparent manner.
5. Documentation of the applicability, benefits and limitations of combining and utilising different biophysical models, databases and valuation methods in a wide range of concrete environmental and natural resource management and decision-making situations.
6. The creation of a Menu of Multi-Scale Solutions for operationalising the concepts of ES and NC in different decision-making situations, to be integrated into Oppla.
7. The development of knowledge exchange mechanisms to ensure enhanced policy-maker capacity to take up the project’s recommendations; and a knowledge network that is capable of being sustained in the long-term.

The outcomes will better inform policy-making and policy implementation related to NC and ES:
• The project will contribute with methods, tools, assessments and recommendations that will make it possible to operationalise the concepts of NC and ES.
• The project will develop a Menu of Multi-Scale Solutions, integrated into Oppla, which delivers stakeholder targeted solutions for ES assessments.

OpenNESS will also contribute expertise and results to several key EU policies and regulatory frameworks. To date Policy Briefs have been prepared on nature-based solutions (Brief no. 02) and integrating nature-based solutions in urban planning (Brief no. 03). Briefs on renewable energy, WFD, links between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation and Biodiversity offsetting are under preparation. At the national and regional level, it will consider the potential to mainstream the concepts of ES and NC into policies and management practices. It will also contribute to the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). During the second period, OpenNESS partners have participated in the IPBES deliverable 3d on values and valuation, with major contributions to the sub-sections on biophysical, cultural and social, and deliberative valuation methods, drawing on the work in WP4. Partners have also contributed to IPBES deliverables 3c on scenarios and models, and 4c on policy support tools and several partners are engaged in preparing the IPBES regional assessments.

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