Keerbergen, Belgium
Keerbergen, Belgium

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.56M | Year: 2013

Sustainable water management under climate change is an urgent challenge for the Euro-Mediterranean region. Future climate change projections estimate an increase in water scarcity and droughts in the region, causing substantial socioeconomic losses and environmental impacts. In this context, efforts are needed to strengthen public participation and embed a sense of responsibility within the society concerning water management and adaptation towards these threats. The combination of improved awareness, mutual learning processes and shared responsibility of the civil society and stakeholders are key to ensuring successful adaptation strategies and their implementation, leading to increased resilience of the social-ecological system of a river basin. BEWATER addresses the above challenges by promoting dialogue and collaboration between science and society. The project aims at launching a transition from a technologically-focused river basin management approach to a stakeholder driven planning and management process that allows a pro active response to emerging climatic changes and related pressures. Based on a bottom-up approach, the multidirectional and multi-sectoral knowledge transfer throughout the project will raise awareness, feed ownership and ultimately lead to effective adaptation policies. BEWATER proposes, with tests in case study river basins across the Mediterranean, a process of building resilience based on the engagement of a wide group of stakeholders, with the goal of achieving a sustainable and adaptive management at river basin scale. It is an iterative process of mutual learning between society and science, which identifies water management options and works out adaptation plans. It leads to innovation as a result of effective integration of local experience and research. The results will be translated into generic adaptation guidelines that can be adopted in other river basins and results will be disseminated in a targeted and strategic way.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2011.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 10.36M | Year: 2012

One of the biggest challenges facing global society today is the widespread and growing presence of hunger and food insecurity. Given that the lead time for some social and technological solutions is long, a long-term framework on global food and nutrition security (FNS) is required. FoodSecure aims at improving the resilience of the food system, by providing a means to mitigate risks and uncertainties in the world food system caused by economic and climatic shocks while providing for sustainable economic growth. The project provides an analytical toolbox to experiment, analyse, and coordinate the effects of short and medium term policies, thereby allowing for the execution of consistent, coherent, long-term strategies with desirable consequences. The FoodSecure collaboration responds to the challenge of food shortages and volatility by providing stakeholders, in the EU and beyond, with the capacity to assess and address the short term and long term challenges of food and nutrition security both effectively and sustainably. The project draws on an expert, multi-disciplinary, science team to provide a complete set of knowledge to inform and guide decision makers and other stakeholders in formulating strategies to alleviate food shortages. The food system is analysed in relationship to the ecosystem, energy, and financial markets, all of which are potential sources of shocks that can disrupt the food system. In addition, it is examined in light of fundamental societal trends and changing attitudes towards food consumption and production. The project emphasises the diversity of challenges of FNS in countries and regions. The project delivers new empirical evidence on the drivers of global FNS, and classifies regions and livelihood systems in typologies . A harmonised data system and modelling toolbox are developed for forecasts (on short term) and forward looking (towards 2050) on future hunger. A support for effective and sustainable actions will include the identification of the critical pathways for technological and institutional change and for EU policies in the areas of development aid, climate change, trade, common agricultural policy and renewable energy, including sustainability criteria.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009.1.1.6.1 | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2010

CLIMSAVE will develop and apply an integrated methodology for stakeholder-led, climate change impact and vulnerability assessment that explicitly evaluates regional and continental scale adaptation options, and cross-sectoral interactions between the key sectors driving landscape change in Europe (agriculture, forests, biodiversity, coasts/floodplains, water resources, urban development and transport). A range of sectoral meta-models will be linked within a common assessment platform that is user-friendly, interactive and web-based to allow the rapid reproduction of climate change impacts by stakeholders themselves. The meta-models will be derived from detailed state-of-the-art models which represent the latest results on impacts of, and vulnerability to, climate change and which are appropriate for multi-scale spatially explicit impact studies. Indicator metrics, which translate the outputs from the integrated models into ecosystem services outcomes, will create a standardised approach across sectors ensuring comparability in quantifying impacts and vulnerability. The integrated assessment platform will use these metrics to identify hotspots of climate change vulnerability and provide the ability to assess adaptation strategies for reducing these vulnerabilities, in terms of their cost-effectiveness and cross-sectoral benefits and conflicts. Methods for reducing uncertainties and increasing the transparency of model and scenario assumptions will be implemented to inform the development of robust policy responses. A series of professionally facilitated workshops will identify stakeholder needs and test an innovative methodology for participatory scenario development specifically geared towards interactive climate change impact and adaptation assessment. Two sets of three workshops at two levels (European and regional) will ensure that the CLIMSAVE methodologies work at different scales and provide for continuity of engagement and mutual learning.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2010.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 9.06M | Year: 2010

VOLANTE aims to develop a new European land management paradigm, providing an integrated conceptual and operational platform which allows policy makers to develop pro-active and context-sensitive solutions to the challenges for the future, rather than to react on largely autonomous external land systems developments. Objective of VOLANTE is to provide European policy and land management with critical pathways defining the band width of possible land management policies for future European land use. Policy options will therefore be identified in time and space and their consequences in terms of states of the land system (provisioning of ecosystem goods and services) will be evaluated, leading to a ROADMAP FOR FUTURE LAND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN EUROPE. To realise this, VOLANTE is designed in three Modules to gain better understanding of the PROCESSES underpinning land use change in Europe, to exploit ASSESSMENT tools that are capable of identifying critical pathways for land management in a variety of environmental and management regimes across Europe, and to provide insight into the role of land management decisions on future sustainability: VISIONS. VOLANTE brings together researchers with experience and expertise on land use change at various spatial and temporal scales enabling a focus on vision development. Module Processes identifies land use change and the processes causing these, testing unproven hypotheses by extensively using the experience gained in earlier projects and studying crucial missing links. Problem orientation is the basis for the Module Assessment, which will narrow down the infinite spectrum of policy decisions possible. Module Visions establishes interaction with decision makers at regional and European level, to enhance an evidence based and problem oriented science-policy interface. A special, professional and consistent effort will be made to gather the views of a broad set of stakeholders and to include them in all steps of the process.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-3 | Award Amount: 11.25M | Year: 2013

IMPRESSIONS will provide empirically-grounded, transformative science that quantifies and explains the consequences of high-end climate scenarios for both decision-makers and society. IMPRESSIONS will develop and apply a novel participatory methodology that explicitly deals with uncertainties and strong non-linear changes focussing on high-end climate change, but also including intermediate warming levels. This new methodology will build on the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) and shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs) to create a coherent set of high-end climate and socio-economic scenarios covering multiple scales. These scenarios will be applied to a range of impact, adaptation and vulnerability models that build on theories of complex systems and address tipping elements as key characteristics of such systems. The models will be embedded within an innovative multi-scale integrated assessment approach to improve analysis of cross-scale interactions and cross-sectoral benefits, conflicts and trade-offs. Model results will inform the development of time- and path-dependent transition pathways. These will include mechanisms to foster synergies between adaptation and mitigation and will aim to build resilience in the face of uncertainty. Methods will be applied within five linked multi-sectoral case studies at global, European and regional/local scales. Stakeholders within these case studies will be fully engaged in the research process through a series of in-depth professionally facilitated workshops which maximise their active participation in defining high-end scenarios and adaptation and mitigation pathways, and in analysing the inherent risks and opportunities of new policy strategies. This will build the capacity of stakeholders to understand the risks, opportunities, costs and benefits associated with different adaptation and mitigation pathways under high-end scenarios, and how they might be effectively embedded within decision-making processes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.2-1 | Award Amount: 11.46M | Year: 2012

Human use and exploitation of the biosphere is increasing at such a pace and scale that the sustainability of major ecosystems is threatened, and may not be able to continue to function in ways that are vital to the existence of humanity. Re-framing environmental resource use has led to the emergence of the concepts of ecosystem services (ES) and natural capital (NC). This discourse indicates not only a change in our understanding of planetary functions at the ecosystem scale, but also a fundamental shift in how we perceive the relationship between people and the ecosystems on which they depend. OPERAs (OPERATIONAL POTENTIAL OF ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH APPLICATIONS) aims to improve understanding of how ES/NC contribute to human well-being in different social-ecological systems in inland and coastal zones, in rural and urban areas, related to different ecosystems including forests and fresh water resources. The OPERAs research will establish whether, how and under what conditions the ES/NC concepts can move beyond the academic domain towards practical implementation in support of sustainable ecosystem management. OPERAs will use a meta-analysis (systematic review) of existing ES/NC practice to identify knowledge gaps and requirements for new policy options and instruments. New insights, and improved or novel tools and instruments, will be tested in practice in exemplar case studies in a range of socio-ecological systems across locales, sectors, scales and time. Throughout this iterative process, available resources and tools will be brought together in a Resource Hub, a web-based portal that will be co-developed by scientists and practitioners representing different interests and perspectives on the development, communication and implementation of the ES/NC concepts. The Resource Hub will provide the main interface between OPERAs and a Community of Excellence (CoE) for continued practice that will benefit from OPERAs outcomes.


Harrison P.A.,University of Oxford | Holman I.P.,Cranfield University | Cojocaru G.,TIAMASG Foundation | Kok K.,Wageningen University | And 4 more authors.
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2013

Climate change will affect all sectors of society and the environment at all scales, ranging from the continental to the national and local. Decision-makers and other interested citizens need to be able to access reliable science-based information to help them respond to the risks of climate change impacts and assess opportunities for adaptation. Participatory integrated assessment (IA) tools combine knowledge from diverse scientific disciplines, take account of the value and importance of stakeholder 'lay insight' and facilitate a two-way iterative process of exploration of 'what if's' to enable decision-makers to test ideas and improve their understanding of the complex issues surrounding adaptation to climate change. This paper describes the conceptual design of a participatory IA tool, the CLIMSAVE IA Platform, based on a professionally facilitated stakeholder engagement process. The CLIMSAVE (climate change integrated methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in Europe) Platform is a user-friendly, interactive web-based tool that allows stakeholders to assess climate change impacts and vulnerabilities for a range of sectors, including agriculture, forests, biodiversity, coasts, water resources and urban development. The linking of models for the different sectors enables stakeholders to see how their interactions could affect European landscape change. The relationship between choice, uncertainty and constraints is a key cross-cutting theme in the conduct of past participatory IA. Integrating scenario development processes with an interactive modelling platform is shown to allow the exploration of future uncertainty as a structural feature of such complex problems, encouraging stakeholders to explore adaptation choices within real-world constraints of future resource availability and environmental and institutional capacities, rather than seeking the 'right' answers. © 2012 The Author(s).


Gramberger M.,Prospex bvba | Zellmer K.,Prospex bvba | Kok K.,Wageningen University | Metzger M.J.,University of Edinburgh
Climatic Change | Year: 2014

Ensuring active participation of stakeholders in scientific projects faces many challenges. These range from adequately selecting stakeholders, overcoming stakeholder fatigue, and dealing with the limited time available for stakeholder engagement, to interacting with, and integrating, the research itself. At the same time, stakeholder participation is seen as a key component in developing research results that are conclusive to political and societal decision-making, and conducive to practical application. This article puts forward the Stakeholder Integrated Research (STIR) approach, designed to address these challenges by proving a structured method for stakeholder engagement in research. An assessment of the stakeholder engagement process within the CLIMSAVE project, including evaluations by participating stakeholders, is used to illustrate the STIR approach, highlighting its value for improving stakeholder involvement within two case studies of a highly complex climate change adaptation project. In comparison to other approaches, STIR directly addresses major stakeholder engagement challenges and simultaneously covers new ground to provide an encompassing and structured approach for integrating stakeholder engagement in research. Further attention needs to be given to involving stakeholder in project set-up and over the course of multiple years, as well as to improving stakeholder-science data translation. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Kok K.,Wageningen University | Barlund I.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Florke M.,University of Kassel | Holman I.,Cranfield University | And 4 more authors.
Climatic Change | Year: 2014

Scenario development methods get to grips with taking a long-term view on complex issues such as climate change through involvement of stakeholders. Many of the recent (global) scenario exercises have been structured according to a Story-and-Simulation approach. Although elaborately studied, conceptual and practical issues remain in linking qualitative stories and quantitative models. In this paper, we show how stakeholders can directly estimate model parameter values using a three-step approach called Fuzzy Set Theory. We focus on the effect of multiple iterations between stories and models. Results show that we were successful in quickly delivering stakeholder-based quantification of key model parameters, with full consistency between linguistic terms used in stories and numeric values. Yet, values changed strongly from one iteration to the next. A minimum of two and preferably at least three iterations is needed to harmonise stories and models. We conclude that the application of Fuzzy Set Theory enabled a highly valuable, structured and reproducible process to increase consistency between stories and models, but that future work is needed to show its true potential, particularly related to the effect of iterations. Additionally, the number of tools that need to be applied in a short period of time to execute a Story-And-Simulation approach introduces drawbacks that need to be studied. However, an approach such as Story-And-Simulation is indispensable and effective in marrying the perspectives of scientists and other stakeholders when studying complex systems and complex problems. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-CSA | Phase: BBI.S2-2015 | Award Amount: 998.57K | Year: 2016

The Bioeconomy Awareness and Discourse Project (BioCannDo) will raise awareness and acceptance of the broad public towards the bioeconomy and bio-based products through a strategic, stakeholder-driven information campaign and education. Convincing people that the bio-based economy offers something desirable, with new products, functionalities and applications for their daily life, that provide answers to societal concerns (e.g. climate change), requires neutral and science-based information. BioCannDo will present such information in a way that is easy to understand for the broader public. It will provide various means for feedback, interaction and encourges engagement in a discourse on common questions and concerns. Collaborating with bio-based stakeholder networks and communities at EU, regional and national level, BioCannDo will provide information, educational materials and key communication messages through such channels as a community of related projects and educational partners and an Inhub which combines different means of online communication (i.e. social media, blogs, videos, journalistic articles). BioCannDo will build on the legacy of previous projects (i.e. by using their networks, or social media accounts), existing material developed by them and be active in collecting, connecting, aggregating and reformulating content from different actors and resources. It will generate new content addressing the most urgent gaps in information and education. Such dual approach will help to maximise synergies and increase impact of both existing and new material. The developed content and key communication messages will be assessed and tested by stakeholders and target users through focus groups and a market survey. Findings will be used in feedback loops to adapt the content and messages.

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