Haberl H.,Klagenfurt University |
Sprinz D.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research |
Bonazountas M.,National Technical University of Athens |
Cocco P.,University of Cagliari |
And 14 more authors.
Energy Policy | Year: 2012
Many international policies encourage a switch from fossil fuels to bioenergy based on the premise that its use would not result in carbon accumulation in the atmosphere. Frequently cited bioenergy goals would at least double the present global human use of plant material, the production of which already requires the dedication of roughly 75% of vegetated lands and more than 70% of water withdrawals. However, burning biomass for energy provision increases the amount of carbon in the air just like burning coal, oil or gas if harvesting the biomass decreases the amount of carbon stored in plants and soils, or reduces carbon sequestration. Neglecting this fact results in an accounting error that could be corrected by considering that only the use of 'additional biomass' - biomass from additional plant growth or biomass that would decompose rapidly if not used for bioenergy - can reduce carbon emissions. Failure to correct this accounting flaw will likely have substantial adverse consequences. The article presents recommendations for correcting greenhouse gas accounts related to bioenergy. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Diedrich A.,Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System SOCIB |
Upham P.,University of Manchester |
Levidow L.,Open University Milton Keynes |
van den Hove S.,Median SCP |
van den Hove S.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2011
Recent EU policy has linked research agendas with societal challenges, which has resulted in an increased emphasis on the need for exchange of knowledge between research and non-research actors, especially civil society organisations. Concurrent with this, has been a call for democratic accountability of research agendas and science that addresses Grand Societal Challenges. The challenge of environmental sustainability features strongly in these discussions with an emphasis on global warming, the tightening of energy, water and food supplies, and the overarching goal of achieving an 'eco-efficient economy'. However, this challenge can be defined in various ways, with different definitions orienting towards different solutions many of which we argue may be contradictory to the goal of environmental sustainability. In this commentary we illustrate how dominant research agendas are often orientated towards the partisan agendas of influential stakeholders, favouring myopic technological fixes and marginalising other civil society actors and critical insights from social science. Our main recommendations include a more dominant role for social sciences, involving civil society more actively in research agenda setting, increased communication, information sharing and capacity building, and increased interdisciplinarity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-8 | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013
The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. These new industries will have significant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, in some cases extending over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Scientific knowledge is needed urgently to develop guidelines for industry ensuring wealth creation and Best Environmental Practice. MIDAS will assess the nature and scales of the potential impacts including 1) physical destruction of the seabed by mining, the creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation, 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process. Knowledge of the impacts will be used to address the key biological unknowns, such as connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover. The information derived will be used to guide recommendations for best practice, iterating with MIDAS industry partners and the wider stakeholder community to ensure that solutions are practical and cost-effective. We will engage with European and international regulatory organisations to take these recommendations forward into legislation in a timely fashion. A major element of MIDAS will be to develop methods and technologies for 1) preparing baseline assessments of biodiversity, and 2) monitoring activities remotely in the deep sea during and after exploitation (including ecosystem recovery). The MIDAS partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.2.1.4.4. | Award Amount: 10.33M | Year: 2009
Our capacity to effectively sustain biodiversity across spatial and temporal scales is an essential component of European environmental sustainability. Anthropogenic and environmental pressures on biodiversity act differently at different scales. Consequently, effective conservation responses to these threats must explicitly consider the scale at which effects occur, and therefore it is crucial that administrative levels and planning scales match the relevant biological scales. The SCALES project will provide the scientific and policy research needed to guide scale-dependent management actions. It will assess and model the scaling properties of natural and anthropogenic processes and the resulting scale-dependencies of the impacts of these pressures on various levels of biodiversity from genes to ecosystem functions. To facilitate these assessment methods for upscaling and downscaling biodiversity data will be reviewed and improved. SCALES will further evaluate the effectiveness of management and policy responses to biodiversity loss in terms of their scale-relevance and will develop new tools for matching their scales to relevant biological scales. Finally, a resulting methodological and policy framework for enhancing the effectiveness of European biodiversity conservation across scales will be developed and tested. This framework focuses on networks of protected areas and regional connectivity. This framework will be disseminated to a wide range of relevant users via a web based support tool kit (SCALE-TOOL) and by means of further dissemination channels, such as conferences, publications, and the mass media.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.2.2.1.2. | Award Amount: 10.98M | Year: 2009
The HERMIONE project is designed to make a major advance in our knowledge of the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems and their contribution to the production of goods and services. This will be achieved through a highly interdisciplinary approach (including biologists, ecologists, microbiologists, biogeochemists, sedimentologists, physical oceanographers, modelers and socio-economists) that will integrate biodiversity, specific adaptions and biological capacity in the context of a wide range of highly vulnerable deep-sea habitats. Gaining this understanding is crucial, because these ecosystems are now being affected by climate change and impacted by man through fishing, resource extraction, seabed installations and pollution. To design and implement effective governance strategies and management plans we must understand the extent, natural dynamics and interconnection of ocean ecosystems and integrate socio-economic research with natural science. The study sites include the Arctic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean and cover a range of ecosystems including cold-water corals, canyons, cold and hot seeps, seamounts and open slopes and deep-basins. The project will make strong connections between deep-sea science and user needs. HERMIONE will enhance the education and public perception of the deep-ocean issues also through some of the major EU aquaria. These actions, together with GEOSS databases that will be made available, will create a platform for discussion between a range of stakeholders, and contribute to EU environmental policies.
Anton C.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research |
Young J.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology |
Harrison P.A.,University of Oxford |
Musche M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research |
And 13 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010
Using a range of different methods including extensive reviews, workshops and an electronic conference, 70 key research recommendations and 12 priority research needs to integrate the ecosystem services approach into biodiversity conservation policy and funding were identified by a cross-disciplinary group of over 100 scientists and 50 stakeholders, including research funders and policy-makers. These recommendations focus on the ecological underpinning of ecosystem services, drivers that affect ecosystems and their services, biological traits and ecosystem services, the valuation of ecosystem services, spatial and temporal scales in ecosystem service assessment, indicators of ecosystem services, and habitat management, conservation policy and ecosystem services. The recommendations in this paper help steer the research agenda on ecosystem services into policy-relevant areas, agreed upon by funders, researchers and policy-makers. This research agenda will only succeed with increased collaboration between researchers across disciplines, thereby providing a challenge to the research community and research funders to work in new, interdisciplinary ways. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009.4.2.3.2 | Award Amount: 1.74M | Year: 2010
SPIRAL aims to enhance the connectivity between biodiversity research and policy making. Although conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity are fundamental requisites of human well-being, the biodiversity issue raises unprecedented challenges regarding science-policy interfaces. The project proposes state of the art interdisciplinary research on science-policy interfaces for sustainability governance at the theoretical, methodological and practical levels. This will support the design, implementation and operation of the real-life institutional designs that are currently emerging to interface biodiversity research and sustainability policy. The project will also provide an opportunity for the main actual or potential policy actors and stakeholders in biodiversity science-policy interfaces to learn, share experiences and network. SPIRAL will deliver a series of practical products for the benefit of users involved in interfaces, including workshops, networking opportunities, handbooks, policy briefs, targeted synthetic reports, an internet pilot platform, and a dedicated website. Overall this will allow scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders to capitalise on a better understanding of science-policy interfaces and implement better practices.
Sarkki S.,University of Oulu |
Tinch R.,Median SCP |
Niemela J.,University of Helsinki |
Heink U.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research |
And 7 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2015
Credibility, relevance and legitimacy (CRELE) of knowledge are widely recognized as key attributes of effective science-policy interfaces (SPIs). Yet, notwithstanding efforts to enhance the CRELE attributes of an SPI, it may still lack impact or be dismissed as not being credible, legitimate or relevant both inside, and outside the SPI. We introduce 'iterativity' as an additional attribute to the CRELE framework to better capture dynamic, continuous and multi-directional interactions between science, policy and society related to SPIs. Iterativity is understood in the context of an important shift in perspective by which SPIs are viewed as dynamic, evolving processes rather than linear processes or isolated events. Based on empirical material on biodiversity-related SPIs, we identify 14 features and lessons learned that explain the outcomes of SPIs regarding their participants and external audiences, and examine how SPIs' structures, objectives, processes and outputs help to build CRELE and iterativity (CRELE. +. IT). The four attributes of CRELE + IT and results related to the features explaining outcomes of SPIs also provide useful practical tools for the design, implementation and revision of effective science-policy interfaces. These lessons regarding CRELE. +. IT help us understand both when and why SPIs are able to contribute to the pressing social and ecological need to halt biodiversity loss and the further deterioration of ecosystem services. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Armstrong C.W.,University of Tromsø |
Foley N.S.,University of Tromsø |
Tinch R.,Median SCP |
van den Hove S.,Median SCP
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2012
Very little work has been done to identify and characterise the goods and services of the sea, and even less for the deep sea. We present a first categorisation and synthesis of deep-sea ecosystem goods and services, and review the current state of human knowledge about these services, the possible methods of their valuation, and possible steps forward in its implementation. Our conclusions highlight the nature and extent of research that is needed to overcome the gaps in knowledge that have been identified, and which have so far prevented the valuation of most deep-sea ecosystem goods and services. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Sarkki S.,University of Oulu |
Niemela J.,University of Helsinki |
Tinch R.,Median SCP |
van den Hove S.,Median SCP |
And 3 more authors.
Science and Public Policy | Year: 2014
To foster strong connections between knowledge and policy action, science-policy interfaces, and the information they produce and exchange, need to be credible, relevant and legitimate. Though this is widely accepted, there has been less emphasis on the problem of trade-offs between these attributes, and how the trade-offs manifest themselves in practice. Based on empirical material on biodiversity-related science-policy interfaces, we identify four major potential trade-offs: first, personal time trade-off: interfacing versus doing other activities; secondly, a clarity-complexity trade-off: simple messages versus communicating uncertainty; thirdly, a speed-quality trade-off: timely outputs versus in-depth quality assessment; and finally, push-pull trade-off: supply-driven versus demand-driven research. Trade-offs are dynamic, vary through policy cycles, and evolve with changing contexts or internal dynamics between actors at the science-policy interface. We outline ways of easing the tensions inherent in trade-offs, but stress that appropriate solutions must be determined on a case-by-case basis © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.