- CEH - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
|Publisher||European Commission FP7|
|Number of pages||70|
|Publication status||Published - 20-Mar-2015|
This report synthesises the testing of the ecosystem service and natural capital concepts in real world applications. All 27 OpenNESS case studies shared their experiences, which they gained up to November 2014. In total over 160 researchers contributed to the work conducted in the case studies, while the people involved through stakeholder participation are 2-3 fold this number. In over half (15) case studies, the research was organised in sub-projects, where the spatial area or stakeholder group were specific to the problem or issue addressed (total 67 issues reported i.e. subprojects).
Each case study provided three types of information: (i) a 2-5 page narrative describing the aims, process and results in their case study so far and links to other WPs; (ii) answers to 27 questions designed to provide information on rationale for the study, stakeholders involved, tools tested and work planned for the coming year; and (iii) a matrix with numerical scores of the tools used, policy areas addressed and joint research activities between case studies. WP coordinators and CS research leaders were all consulted on the structure and the questions of these 3 type of reports. The results of these three inputs are integrated and summarized to provide a comprehensive understanding of the testing of the ecosystem service and natural capital concepts in the OpenNESS project so far.
In this report we test approaches to collate the data, which will be utilised to create the final synthesis deliverable of WP5 i.e. D5.4 ‘Review paper reporting the case study representative’s and CABs assessment of the practical advantages and limitations of ES and NC assessment from the practitioners’ perspective’.
This report (D5.2) is structured to provide a summary of the work completed in 27 case studies and 67 sub-projects. Case study research leaders could not report full details for all 67 case studies as some were not sufficiently advanced (e.g. the selection of some tools were not yet finalised with the stakeholders), therefore the number of sub-projects varies depending on the answers received. This report is arranged in three parts:
1. Typology of real-world applications tested
2. Stakeholders involved and the case study advisory board (CAB)
3. Tools used
4. Lessons-learned from the case studies
The majority of the work conducted in OpenNESS was judged by the case study research leaders to have an element of awareness rising with 46% of the stated sub-projects reporting that awareness rising was a key purpose of the integrated assessment and valuation and another 30% reporting it was relevant in their case study. Priority-setting to determine future land use was considered a key priority in a quarter of the subprojects and an additional 42% considered this aspect relevant. Litigation/natural damage assessment was considered to be the type of assessment which requires the highest reliability and accuracy, but was not the key purpose of many sub-projects in fact 79% specifically reported that this purpose as not relevant in their case study.
The short-term goal of each sub-project was quite specific, but themes were identified utilizing the most frequently used terms to assign one short- term goal to each sub-project. This analysis revealed that the short term goal of the majority of the sub-projects (82%) were either to map the ecosystem services of an area (30%), test the utility of specific tools (30%) or more generally improve management or town planning (22%). Similarly, synthesis of the long-term goals of the case studies found ‘long term sustainability of the case study area’ was the most commonly concluded long-term goal of the sub-projects (45%). The second most common long-term objective was ‘evaluation of the ES and NC concepts‘ (21%). Future reports will attempt to standardise reporting to ensure consistency of terminology.
The key policy areas addressed were context specific to the case studies depending on the real world issue addressed. Across all the sub-projects reported the three most important policy areas were (i) Biodiversity 2020 strategy, (ii) Flora-Fauna Habitat Directive, and (iii) Green Infrastructure Strategy with 46, 35, and 41 sub-projects respectively reporting these policies or key or relevant policies.
The Case Study Advisory Board (CAB) was designed to direct the research to real-world issues and problems and to evaluate the results of the research conducted in OpenNESS. Most case studies established a formal board which met and directed the researchers in the area of study, and who will be the primary user community when the evaluation of the research results. It was however, not always possible or indeed desirable for a single board to be established in some case studies, these case studies do however consult directly with local stakeholders (Case Studies 11, 14, 20, 22 & 25).
More than half of the subprojects indicated that scientists and consultants (n=45), natural resources management authority (n=39) and municipality or local government (n=37) were involved in the case studies. Ten case studies indicated that all concerned stakeholders are represented in the CAB. When concerned stakeholders are not represented in the CAB, they are mostly local stakeholders (citizens, local farmers, local government, local NGOs, local stakeholders in general) and private businesses. Most common reasons for not including concerned stakeholders were: lack of interest from stakeholders’ side, stakeholders are involved in another way in the project, lack of contacts, or “the area is too big” to include all stakeholders in the CAB. In three case studies not all stakeholders are identified yet.
The Spreadsheet/GIS, Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN) and ESTIMAP are the most common tools being tested in of the sub-projects followed by QuickScan and INVEST, while State Transmission Models (STM) and Global/European overview datasets are currently not being tested widely. It is recognised that the STM models are data demanding, while the Global/European model has only recently been finalized and available for testing. In addition this model is only relevant for case studies where land-use is highly impacted by import and/or exported biological goods.
ES-mapping was the most popular valuation and decision-support method tested , followed by preference assessment.
A wide spectrum of models, tools and methods (in different combinations) will be used in all the subprojects. Different reasons for the use of a particular method have been mentioned. These will be used to formulate a consistent typology for future evaluation. A more detailed (participatory) evaluation of the models, tools and methods will be necessary afterwards (e.g. when results are available and have been presented to CAB and/or other stakeholders involved) in order to see if the tools used were indeed the most appropriate ones for the purposes mentioned and to see what feedback is given to the results.
For most of the subprojects, it was too early to draw robust conclusions about the use of the tools/methods. In other cases, there were some preliminary reactions reported. Positive first reactions and/or rather sceptical or critical (first) impressions from OpenNESS case study partners that have been gathered are summarized fully in the this report. The formulation of the feedback offered in this reporting period will be used to formulate a more consistent typology of responses enabling a synthesis across all case studies and sub-projects in future reports.
The 27 case studies provide an excellent testing ground to operationalise the ES/NC concept. A great diversity of issues are being tested with a wide range of tools. It is too early to draw conclusions, but is clear that the stategy adopted in this report is providing the basis to allow syntheis across all 27 case studies at the end of the funding period.