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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Business and research share the stage

OpenNESS was highlighted as a platform to integrate business and research on ecosystem services and natural capital at the Cairngorms Research Event 21-22 October 2015. Andy Wells, Head of Countryside Management, Crown Estate, shared the stage with researchers Jan Dick (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and Beth Wells (Moredun Research Institute).

Andy Wells explained that their long-term business sustainability - addressing economic, environmental and social impact of doing business - was a central reason they considered the natural capital and ecosystem services concepts as important. He explained that the landscape scale evaluation conducted at Glenlivet in collaboration with OpenNESS was an exciting opportunity to test the practical value of the latest ideas in this field.

Jan Dick then described part of the research conducted in OpenNESS which tested the utility of several spatially explicit tools all involving local stakeholder knowledge to map and value ecosystem services. The tools ESTIMAP, QuickScan, and a participatory GIS social survey all focused on providing knowledge on the trade-offs between services with the aim of informing land management decisions (read more in the case study description).

Beth Wells finally explained her research focused on understanding the sources of Cryptosporidium parvum a protozoan parasite of livestock health, water quality and public health concern. In a joint study between OpenNESS and the Aquavalens project and in collaboration with Glenlivet Estate and Scottish Water a Bayesian Belief Network was being tested for its utility to facilitate the creation of a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes in relation to water quality.

The whirl wind presentation in just 15 minutes highlighted the importance of integrating business and research to investigate the operationalisation of the ecosystem services and natural capital concepts in real-world situations.

Photo: Jan Dick presenting the collaboration between the OpenNESS and AQUAVALENS projects, © Jonathan Carruthers-Jones