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February newsflash - European policy day, Two policy briefs published, Final OpenNESS conference, and more!

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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EUROPEAN POLICY DAY ON 'INNOVATING WITH NATURE'

On 1 March 2016, OpenNESS together with the OPERAs project and the European Commission DG Research & Innovation, organises a policy day on natural capital and ecosystem services for sustainable EU policies. The policy day aims to demonstrate the strong role nature plays in tackling current global challenges, and the critical contributions of natural capital and ecosystem services research to sustainable EU policies.
The event is on invitation-only and will be highly participatory. It aims to facilitate and stimulate interaction between policymakers and scientists on the contributions of natural capital and ecosystem services to the circular economy, sustainable development goals, and energy and climate issues. The event is organised under the auspices of the Netherlands EU Presidency. 
The day before this policy day OpenNESS will be represented in a science-science meeting in Brussels in which DG Research & Innovation brings together some 50 European projects that relate to ecosystem services and natural capital.

FINAL OPENNESS CONFERENCE 'HELPING NATURE TO HELP US'

The final OpenNESS conference is jointly being organised by the research projects OPERAs, OpenNESS, and ECOPLAN and the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP). It is hosted by the University of Antwerp in Belgium. It will be the biggest European event in 2016 that links science, policy and practice on ecosystem services and natural capital. With a strong focus on practice and implementation it will showcase excellent knowledge and research, share working examples from business, land management, policy and local practice.

3RD ANNUAL MEETING

The third and last OpenNESS Annual Meeting, kindly organized and hosted by the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), will take place in Leipzig, Germany, from 26 to 28 April 2016. The aim of this meeting is to draw together synthesis activities and inform and involve all OpenNESS partners in this process. A special session on policy is organized to link OpenNESS insights derived on the local level to those on national and European levels – and vice versa.

TWO POLICY BRIEFS PUBLISHED

Two OpenNESS policy briefs were recently published. One brief explains how to integrate nature-based solutions in urban planning using examples from urban cases around Europe. The other brief 'EU bioenergy policies at the crossroad' defends the argument that policies advancing bioenergy use should be developed based on an understanding of the potential trade-offs between ecosystem services. It also uses some case studies about bioenergy production in different countries as practical examples.

OPPLA ON THE MOVE

The Ask Oppla service on the Oppla website has gone live in October 2015. Ask Oppla aims to help answer questions about ecosystem services and natural capital by drawing upon the knowledge of the Oppla community. It will be promoted and actively tested during the upcoming policy day in March, by facilitating dialogue with hundreds of scientists from across Europe. Also, in November 2015, the OPERAs project organized a workshop to engage stakeholders from the private sector, government and non-governmental organisations. Their input and feedback will be used by Oppla to roll-out the next level of development. Furthermore, Oppla has been promoted at several events, including the 8th global Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) conference in South-Africa and the Belgian Ecosystem Services Community (BEES) Christmas Market in Brussels.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: NEVER WASTE THE OPPORTUNITY OFFERED BY A GOOD CRISIS

The idea of ecosystem services is a nice one, but what is it good for? How can the concept become good in practice? Where? When? And is it a good concept after all? Should we think the concept big or small, narrow or wide? Anyone working with ecosystem services has been exposed to these questions by co-academics, by policy makers, nature organisations, businesses, students, friends, relatives… Many of us do have answers, but giving a comprehensive understanding of issues is sometimes difficult, or at least frustrating. Marion Potschin, Roy Haines-Young, Robert Fish and R. Kerry Turner as editors have tackled this huge task by pulling together more than 50 essays into a Routledge Handbook on Ecosystem Services.

PAPERS PUBLISHED


Gonzalez-Redin, J., et al., Spatial Bayesian belief networks as a planning decision tool for mapping ecosystem services trade-offs on forested landscapes. Environmental Research (2016)

Tenerelli, P., U. Demšar and S. Luque, Crowdsourcing indicators for cultural ecosystem services: A geographically weighted approach for mountain landscapes. Ecological Indicators (2016)

Quintas-Soriano, C., et al., Ecosystem services values in Spain: A meta-analysis. Environmental Science & Policy (2016)

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