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  Operationalisation of natural capital and ecosystem services

OpenNESS aims 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. It examines how the concepts link to, and support, wider EU economic, social and environmental policy initiatives and scrutinizes the potential and limitations of the concepts of ES and NC.

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New brief on integrating nature-based solutions in urban planning published

The proportion of the world’s population living in cities continues to grow. We can expect extreme weather events to occur at a greater frequency as climate change continues. Greater use of natural elements in urban planning can help us meet these challenges, while providing multiple benefits that traditional engineering cannot. In OpenNESS, nature-based solutions are used as an overarching term for applications based on ecosystem services, natural capital and ‘lessons from nature’. This brief explains how to integrate nature-based solutions in urban planning using examples from urban cases around Europe. Read more »

Image: Green atrium in Trnava, Slovakia.

Ecosystem services for nature, people and prosperity

The concept of ecosystem services is becoming more mainstream among policy, business and practice. There is a wide range of research going on around the globe. The key challenge is to turn this knowledge into practice. This was the clear message from the well-attended and perfectly organized 8th global Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) conference in South-Africa last week. OpenNESS provided great input into the conference, with its many examples of how ecosystem services and natural capital are operationalized at local and regional levels. Read more »

Photo: © Ben Delbaere

How small businesses operationalise ecosystem services

‘SMEs are the most important source for innovation’, said Kurt VandenBerghe, Director at the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation when speaking at the OpenNESS SME event about investing in nature-based solutions. His keynote speech described in an excellent way the challenges posed by EU research funding and how small businesses play an essential role in shaping research of the future. Ecosystem services and natural capital are key elements that can drive such innovation and the event on 28 October in Brussels was set to demonstrate this point. Read more »

Photo: Kurt VandenBerghe states that "OpenNESS does exactly what the Horizon 2020 funding programme aims to achieve: research in action!"