About OpenNESS

OpenNESS is a European research project that translates the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital into operational frameworks that provide tested, practical and tailored solutions for integration into land, water and urban management and decision-making.


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New chapters of OpenNESS Reference Book published

The OpenNESS Ecosystem Services Reference Book is expanding steadily. The reference book is made up of individual synthesis papers (SPs) generated by OpenNESS members, which represent an agreed conceptual basis for taking the work of OpenNESS forward. The content of them may change over time, as the results of OpenNESS emerge. The current SPs published online cover: For this winter, upcoming SPs include Conceptual frameworks and cascade modelBundles of ecosystem services, Effectiveness, Good governance, Natural capital accounting and Operationalisation.

Cooperation for the common platform Oppla

OpenNESS is working very closely with the related research project OPERAs on developing a common platform that will bring together all the knowledge, tools and services from both projects in support of parties that want to turn ecosystem services and natural capital into action. The platform was recently given the name Oppla and is intended to continue independently beyond the project duration. Therefore, the cross-project team developed a scoping document, a product development plan, and has been brainstorming about a business plan as well as a branding plan. The ‘Oppla team’ (participants from both OpenNESS and OPERAs) met on 20-21 October in Brussels to take stock of progress and agree next steps.

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.
Also, methodological briefs on monetary valuation methods were prepared, as well as an action plan for the application of these methods in specific policy contexts.

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.

Ongoing operationalization in the case studies

At the 1st Annual Meeting in Budapest (March 2014), all 26 OpenNESS case studies presented an update of their work plan and results so far in a poster session. Also, they attended training sessions, workshops and bilateral clinics and specific focus was put on learning across the case studies (read this example). Since then, all cases started to conduct ecosystem services assessments testing the tools and methods developed within the other work packages. To test the relevance of these methods and tools with relevant stakeholders, so-called Case Study Advisory Boards (CABs) were established to discuss the issues at stake, the methods to be used, and the results of the research (read this example). From 19 to 21 November, an integrated assessment and valuation training will be held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. During this week, also the case studies coordinators will come together to discuss progress in their cases and to learn from each other.

OpenNESS governing bodies take stock of progress

OpenNESS' first International Advisory Board (IAB) and Project Science Review Group (PSRG) meetings were held as part of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting last summer. 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.
During the meeting a number of future activities were planned, including a policy day at the European Commission, joint work package meetings for strengthened integration, the annual meeting in spring 2015, and possible policy briefs.

Papers published

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