The launch March 2013 in Helsinki follows-up on the PEER Research on Ecosystem Services (PRESS) project.
On the 12th and 13th of March 2013, OpenNESS (OPEratioNalisation of Natural capital and EcoSystem Services) celebrated its official kick-off in Helsinki, Finland.
As a follow-up of PRESS, the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER) plays a strong role in this FP7-funded initiative aiming to translate the concepts of Natural Capital (NC) and Ecosystem Services (ES) into operational frameworks that provide tested, practical and tailored solutions for integrating ES into land, water and urban management and decision-making. Till 2016, it will examine how the concepts link to, and support, wider EU economic, social and environmental policy initiatives and scrutinize the potential and limitations of the concepts of ES and NC.
Almost 100 participants from the consortium consisting of 25 research institutes and 10 SMEs from 22 European and four non-European countries took part to the meeting which was hosted at the Helsinki House of the Estates by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the OpenNESS coordinating body.
The purpose of the kick-off was to meet each other, get a better understanding of the OpenNESS concept and its policy and research challenges, as well as an overview of the tasks under each work package. During break-out sessions each work package had a facilitated session about its approach, methodology and working structure. Also possible collaboration and cross-cutting themes between the work packages were identified.
Central to OpenNESS is the multi-scale case study approach, designed to ground concepts and theories on real world observations and analysis. More than 30 representatives of these case studies and SMEs attended the kick-off meeting. During a very interactive and fun 'understanding case studies' session, all of them were introduced to the whole consortium.
Detailed information about each case study will be published on the OpenNESS website in the coming days.
The Partnership for European Environmental Research gathers together seven major public environmental research centres in Europe pursuing a joint scientific strategy to support national and EU policy makers, industry and society in achieving ecological sustainability. The member Institutes are Alterra, CEH, DCE, Irstea, JRC-IES, SYKE and UFZ.