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Green Week 2017: Green jobs for a greener future

New issue of ECNC Update published

Conference on the EU Action Plan for nature

Connecting Nature officially launched

NATURE@work - EEA photography competition

Let’s Talk About Data - Wildlife recording

Oppla insight event: making nature-based solutions work for business

European Natura 2000 Award 2018: Calls are open!

Applications open for 2020 European Green Capital and 2019 European Green Leaf Awards

Celebrate nature on 5 June!

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity

EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy

Bank On Nature

New issue of ECNC Update published

New report on the state of the UK's birds

Green Week 2017 – The transition towards a circular economy

25th anniversary of LIFE and the Habitats Directive

OpenNESS partners reflect on progress and impact

ECNC welcomes a new Network partner

Sea turtles and ‘plastic soup’ in the classroom

New issue of ECNC Update published

Nature Outlook report to be presented in Brussels

Healthy Seas in 2016 - more nets collected and exciting new activities

Ecosystem services and EU regulatory frameworks: How can Oppla help?

European Commission adopts the Environmental Implementation Review

EC launches public consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy

Today is World Wetlands Day

Successful Healthy Seas beach clean-up with schoolkids

New EEA report on climate change in Europe

PISCO/UNS publication on the science of marine protected areas

New issue of ECNC Update published

2017 - International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

EU guide to environmental directives

Video message by Commissioner Vella in support of Healthy Seas

Ecosystem services seminar presentations available online

ALTER-Net team publishes paper on nature-based solutions

UN Biodiversity Conference: commitments for action on biodiversity

New French Agency for Biodiversity

New issue of ECNC Update published

Healthy Seas fashion exhibition in the Netherlands

IAGC and Healthy Seas announce ocean ghostnet clean-up partnership

Statement by Commissioner Vella on the Nature Directives Fitness Check

Oppla all set to serve European projects

New issue of ECNC Update published

Fruit and biodiversity in the Euregio Rhine-Waal

OpenNESS at the third EU Business and Biodiversity annual meeting

Sustainable Development: EU sets out its priorities

Users very enthusiastic about Oppla

Record number of cities apply for European Green Capital 2019 and European Green Leaf 2018 Awards

Second Atlantic Seminar: Knowledge exchange and roadmap for future cooperation

OpenNESS case studies to inspire European site managers

European companies awarded for their green business solutions

New issue of ECNC Update published

Bosland conference - increasing opportunities for nature and society

Stakeholders discuss actions and cooperation at Second Boreal Seminar

Draft results of restoration study presented at workshop

Embracing Estuaries – workshop results published

The 'umbrella effect' of Natura 2000

Bracenet develops fashion bracelets from ghost nets

Support the People4Soil initiative

Ecosystem services: We must now deliver societal impact

What the EU should do to better protect nature in Europe

Best practice in restoration

EEA ‘My City’ photo competition: public vote now open

Nature lends a hand

Launching Oppla: a global platform for nature-based solutions

European Commission adopts first EU list of invasive species

Enter the Green-Go short film contest 2016!

Registration now open for conference ‘Bosland 10 years – Passion for Nature’

New issue of ECNC Update published

Registration open for study workshop on restoration and the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020

Sharing knowledge and experience for regions and biodiversity

New issue of ECNC Update published

LIFE Platform meeting on restoration of sand dune habitats

Implementing ecosystem restoration and green infrastructure in Europe

Nature supports Europe’s sustainable cities

Food and health the focus of Tilburg Nature Market 2016

New issue of ECNC Update published

2016 Natura 2000 Award winners announced

Workshop on Mediterranean forest management and Natura 2000

OpenNESS annual meeting reflects on four years of work

New issue of ECNC Update published

ECNC and Lithuanian Government preparing the Second Boreal Natura 2000 Seminar

People 4 Soil initiative

Symposium 'Biodiversity in the Netherlands, one step beyond'

Odra Delta Nature Park - testing new business models

Finalists of the 2016 Natura 2000 Award announced

New issue of ECNC Update published

Call for practical restoration evidence for new EU study on ecosystem restoration

Vote for the European Natura 2000 Citizens’ Award!

Research to support innovating with nature

Department of Landscape Architecture, Ankara University, joins ECNC Network

New issue of ECNC Update published

Integrating nature into circular economy

Quality Destination in action!

New project to promote ecosystem restoration

European Ecosystem Services Conference: call for sessions open!

New issue of ECNC Update published

Land and Soil Management Award – Apply now!

Alpine Grassland Management Workshop addresses long-term protection of grasslands

OpenNESS annual meeting reflects on four years of work


Will the OpenNESS project achieve its main aim, to help operationalize ecosystem services and natural capital, to turn the concepts into real-world applications? This was the underlying question at this year’s annual project meeting, which focused on synthesizing the results of almost four years of work. The OpenNESS project has entered its last year of operations and so this meeting brought together the results of its work on concepts and theories, policies and regulations, models and methods, and valuation of ecosystem services and natural capital.

The fundament of much of this work is a set of 27 case studies which look at the reality of implementing the rather technical or scientific concepts in physical places and concrete situations. What models work best in urban conditions? How do you involve stakeholders in agricultural settings? How do you assess values that people attach to ecosystem services in forest areas? These are some of the many questions that were addressed in the case studies.

Now it is time to bring together the results of the case studies in a synthesis process that looks at the lessons that can be learned from our experience; to offer recommendations to help others operationalize ecosystem services; and to relate the results to policy processes at local to global levels. It is too soon for a final synthesis, but some key elements that emerged from the meeting include the importance of human interaction in identifying questions to which ecosystems may provide answers, the need to consider values from many different angles, and the need to apply different methods and be flexible when repeating implementation.

The next few months will see results from the synthesis process in the form of scientific papers, policy briefs, or presentations at the final project conference in September 2016.

A number of keynote presentations and reflections from the project’s international advisory board enriched the discussions at the annual meeting. Dr Kai Chan from the University of British Columbia (Canada) gave a keynote speech about the importance of cultural ecosystem services and how relational values are key to stewardship and conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Dr Davide Geneletti demonstrated how integrating ecosystem services may help fine-tune and enhance impact assessments. The International Advisory Board, impressed with the work done by OpenNESS, gave a number of recommendations in connection with the type of change that OpenNESS wants to achieve, the synthesis process, and visibility of the outcomes, including through stories based on the case studies.

The meeting was held at OpenNESS partner UFZ’s conference venue in Leipzig, Germany, from 25 to 28 April 2016, and brought together some 70 participants from all partners.