NewsMarch 3, 2016

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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

European biodiversity indicator process revitalized

Promoting sustainable tourism in Uzundere through the QualityDestination programme

New issue of ECNC Update published

Natura 2000 Award 2016 - Deadline extended until 15 December!

Tackling nitrogen deposition in nature areas requires an integrated approach

Ecosystem services for nature, people and prosperity

Seminar discusses Natura 2000 management issues

Data to underpin Dutch Parliament view on EU nature legislation

’Eco-crossovers’ in the German–Dutch Euregio Rhine-Waal

How small businesses operationalise ecosystem services

New issue of ECNC Update published

ECNC networking for Europe’s nature and biodiversity

Biodiversity meter unveiled in Delft

Natura 2000 Award 2016 - apply now!

CEEweb Annual Academy focuses on water and nature directives

Natura 2000 Communication Platform and LIFE Database to improve information sharing

Launch of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative

Boreal forests and lakes provide inspirational services to OpenNESS project team

Introducing our most recent Board members

CNVP joins the ECNC Network

Expert workshop discusses the valuation of ecosystems and their services

Continental, Pannonian, Black Sea and Steppic Biogeographical Kick-off Seminar

New issue of ECNC Update published

Nature Outlook deriving key messages for policymakers and stakeholders

Towards clustered policy briefs for biodiversity

Breaking barriers: Stakeholder and public engagement for Natura 2000 sites

Bojanatour: From vision to reality

ECNC projects heavily featured during Green Week 2015

Over two thousand visitors at lively nature market in Tilburg

Destinations join up with the QualityDestination programme

Improving the assessment of Alpine grasslands conservation status

Nature offers innovations and solutions to societal challenges

European Topic Centre on Biodiversity to celebrate its 20th anniversary

OpenNESS: the results are starting to take shape

New issue of ECNC Update published

Announcing the Green-Go short film contest

Nature Outlook second stakeholder dialogue

Strengthening biodiversity and sustainable development in the Niederrhein and Waal

Europe's environment 2015: Future prosperity depends on bolder steps in policy, knowledge, investments and innovation

ECNC contributes to NatuRegio_Balkans ‘Future Workshop’

Videos to promote Natura 2000 in Austria now also with English subtitles

Commissioner Vella underlines the key importance of the Natura 2000 network

ECNC announces the second winner of the Sir Brian Unwin Incentive Award

ECNC and partners launch next phase of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process

ECNC and new Network partner CENN to discuss project opportunities

New issue of ECNC Update published

OpenNESS at the Belgian Ecosystem Services Community Christmas market

First Sir Brian Unwin Incentive Award presented

EU Natura 2000 ecological network: A success story at regional level

EcoFINDERS project characterized biodiversity and functioning of European soils

Final week to submit your Green-Go short movie

ECNC at very successful 1st Global Soil Biodiversity Conference

Bristol Natural History Consortium joins the ECNC Network

Stakeholders contribute to draft scenarios on the future of nature in Europe

Call for applications for Natura 2000 Award 2015 now open

The Netherlands helps holiday destinations become more sustainable

LANDLIFE Care for nature: First European Land Stewardship Congress

New issue of ECNC Update published

Ecosystem services support thriving business in Portuguese cork oak landscape

Research to support innovating with nature


There is a need for a major transition in society to support the global aim for a more sustainable future. Nature has tremendous potential to support such a transition through the benefits it provides to human well-being. Research supports the knowledge base that is required to enable a nature-based transition.

These are some of the key points from a policy day ‘Innovating with nature’ that was held on 1 March 2016 in Brussels. The meeting was hosted by Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP and organized by the European Commission DG Research & Innovation with two of its research projects on turning ecosystem services into practice: OpenNESS and OPERAs. ECNC co-organized the event as part of the OpenNESS project.

In her opening statement, Mrs Pietikäinen referred to the current biocrisis, with the global population consuming the production of 1.5 planets per year. In a panel discussion, she and her colleague MEPs Auken and Demesmaeker stressed the importance of nature-based solutions (NBS) for achieving a more sustainable future and the need to ‘teach the policymakers’. The Horizon 2020 research funding programme supports such knowledge building, said Mr Kurt Vandenberghe, Director at DG R&I, and also supports networking and community building to upscale NBS. According to the EC Joint Research Centre, he said, for every 1% land take 2.2% compensation through green infrastructure is needed. Nature has to become an integral part of the development portfolio.

Mr Mari van Dreumel, on behalf of the Dutch EU Presidency, reiterated the need for cooperation between science and policy and called for scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to explore the potential of natural capital and ecosystem services to provide innovative solutions for a circular economy. The panel was also joined by Mr Xavier Le Roux, CEO at the European biodiversity research funding and networking body BiodivERsA, who referred to the existing NBS community in Europe and the many success stories of real-life implementation. What is needed is for all stakeholders to come out of their comfort zone, co-design options with nature, and engage stakeholders to achieve a fully systemic approach.

Collaboration came out as a key need to achieve the full integration of solutions offered by nature when combating the effects of climate change, preventing flooding, offering urban green space to increase leisure and health, and many more challenges in society.

A number of examples from the OpenNESS and OPERAs projects demonstrated how research can support policymaking. Also, the 220 participants were invited to join a new collaboration platform developed by OPERAs and OpenNESS, called Oppla, and to share experience and ask questions online to help develop nature-based innovation. This Oppla service will equally allow citizens to get engaged in the dialogue with science and policy. During a question-and-answer session European Commission officials expressed demands they have regarding NBS, and researchers from both projects showed how the projects help answer these demands. These illustrated how the project contributed to the DG R&I priorities of open science, open innovation and being open to the world, and how they contribute to the Juncker agenda for innovation, green growth and job development.