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Project calendar

25-29 APRIL 2016

3rd OpenNESS Annual Meeting at Leipziger KUBUS, the UFZ conference venue in Leipzig, Germany 


18-20 MAY 2016

OpenNESS Project Steering Committee meeting, Norway


19-23 SEPTEMBER 2016

European Ecosystem Services Conference: Helping nature to help us (OpenNESS final conference, jointly with OPERAs, ESP and ECOPLAN), Antwerp, Belgium

  Contributing to European policy processes

The general aim of OpenNESS is to identify options and to address obstacles and knowledge gaps related to mainstreaming the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital into EU policy making. The work package on regulatory frameworks and drivers of change addresses this by examining how existing and forthcoming EU regulatory frameworks can enhance or restore the benefits derived from ecosystem services and natural capital using multi-scale scenario approaches.

On this webpage you find policy-related events, documents and news published or organized within the framework of OpenNESS.

  Policy day "Innovating with nature"

On 1 March 2016, OpenNESS together with the OPERAs project and the European Commission DG Research & Innovation, organised a policy day on natural capital and ecosystem services for sustainable EU policies. This policy day was organised under the auspices of EU Presidency and with contribution from the European Parliament Intergroup on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development. Watch the summary video:

  OpenNESS policy briefs

See also the OPERAs policy briefs


  • The journey of a data point
    This article describes the journey from data to decision making and is based on experiences and observations in dealing with the complex political European framework. It gives some insights in how science can influence policymaking.
  • Paper on the policy analysis (download the annexes)
    This OpenNESS deliverable assesses how existing EU regulatory frameworks (= policy) addresses ecosystem services explicitly or implicitly.
  • Nature-Based Solutions for Europe's Sustainable Development
    This paper by OpenNESS partners Joachim Maes and Sander Jacobs outlines the basics of a nature-based scenario for Europe, and proposes criteria to focus, guide, and evaluate the implementation of nature-based solutions, geared at production of wide socioeconomic benefits, provision of jobs, and low-carbon technology innovations.

  Latest news items

  Oppla: Collaborate • Innovate • Communicate

Oppla is a new virtual hub where the latest thinking on nature-based solutions is brought together from across Europe. It is the final product of and a joint activity between OpenNESS and the OPERAs project and will be fully launched in 2017.

Download the Oppla policy brief 'Enabling decision-making on services offered by nature' »

Oppla will provide access to a wide range of resources, drawn from the most innovative communities of science, policy and practice. It has ambition to grow into Europe’s foremost platform for sharing environmental knowledge, where the outputs of research can achieve greater impact. It will feature a marketplace for promoting products, services and finding new customers. It will also feature a range of networking services, helping members to collaborate and work together in developing good practice.

Go to the Oppla website »

  European ecosystem services conference

The final OpenNESS conference 'Helping nature to help us' 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 knowledge and research, share working examples from business, land management, policy and local practice. The conference will take place in Antwerp, Belgium, from 19-23 September 2016, and is jointly organised by OpenNESS, OPERAs, ECOPLAN and the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP). It is hosted by the University of Antwerp.

Go to the conference website »