The fifth MOVE webinar that focused on the Sint Maarten case study took place on November 18 and was moderated by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) in coordination with the Wolfs Company.
The main presenters, Sem Duijndam (IVM) and Jonathan Schmiedel (IVM), focused on the economic valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services. Relevant covered topics include the use of the choice experiment method to assess respondent’s willingness to pay for a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g recreation and water quality) and the spatial variation of economic-relevant services. Studies were complemented with an economic appraisal of different environmental management scenarios and a cost-benefit analysis to understand which strategies enhance the economic value of the study area. Results indicated that environmental management approaches, such as mangrove restoration or the expansion of marine protected areas, are more beneficial for the economy than the business as usual or engineering-based approaches. Moreover, the presentations highlighted the importance of translating this type of studies into policies and initiatives that can have a positive impact for the environment of the study area.
This event was attended by 11 participants, mostly researchers and policy advisers from the environmental sector of St. Maarten (e.g. Nature Foundation St Maarten and The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance).
The fourth MOVE webinar, moderated by the University of Trento (Italy) and organized in coordination with the Regional Fund for Science and Technology of The Azores (FRCT, Portugal), took place on October 29. Its focus were the relevant results from the regional case study of The Azores, located in the Macaronesia biographical region.
The main presentations were led by the researchers Marta Vergílio (FRCT) and Ina Sieber (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany). Main topics covered the modelling of relevant ecosystem services in Terceira Island using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs tool (InVEST), and the impacts of using different Land Use/Land Covers datasets (CORINE, COS.A, and Sentinel2) for modelling outputs. In addition, model validation was highlighted for enhancing possible heterogenous results from using different LULC datasets in ecosystem services assessment. In this regard, when contrasting results are obtained, they need to be further validated with additional data sources such as matrix applications based on expert knowledge or participatory GIS Mapping. Finally, the main implications of this study for policy and decision making were discussed, specifically in terms of selecting the best LULC model depending on specific targets and policy goals.
This digital event was attended by 65 participants and an analysis of their profiles showed a heterogeneous representation. 60% of participants were stakeholders or partners from The Azores region and other areas of Portugal (SIMBIENTE Azores, University of The Azores, University of Aveiro, CIBIO-InBIO Portugal, Agricultural Association of Terceira Island, among other). Interestingly, the remaining 40% of attendees were members from research communities and the academic world from diverse areas of the world such as Latin America, mainland Europe (Italy, Slovakia, UK) and Southern Asia.
The most recent MOVE Progress & Planning meeting took place last Wednesday, 15th of October, for nearly two hours, with lots of inputs from different partners involved in the project.
In this virtual event organised by Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT), the presentations were led by Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), University of La Laguna (ULL), Université de La Réunion, University of Portsmouth (UoP) and Asociación Biodiversidad Atlántica y Sostenibilidad (ABAS) in collaboration with the University Institute of Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems (IU-ECOAQUA), a research center of excellence at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The previous coordination meeting took place last February, and in this new meeting some significant issues were discussed to assess the overall progress of project activities and the current state and evolution of the seven case studies, focusing the work of a dedicated team of local experts, policy makers and civil society members, pooled from across the OR and OCTs.
The selected MOVE case-studies cover six of the seven biogeographical regions with EU presence: the Azores, The Canary Islands, Dutch Caribbean (Saint Martin), the Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Martinique and La Réunion.
During this period of time, MOVE project partners have worked in a review of scientific literature about mapping and assessing ecosystem services in EU OCTs and ORs, and also preparing guidelines, surveys, reports and projects for stakeholders in the different territories engaged in this project.
Morover, different parnetrs have organized workshops, moderated online discussion forums, webinars, at the local level as a participatory action to implement some of the MOVE actions
The project is moving towards its final point with very good outputs that soon will be aired in MOVE project website. The final meeting and Third General Assembly is scheduled to be organized in Brusells (Belgium), February 2021.
The third MOVE webinar, which focused on the case study of the Martinique, took place on July 30. Hosted once more by the University of Trento (Italy), the introduction to this webinar briefly discussed the MOVE project and the importance of the MOVE webinar series to share relevant scientific knowledge that stem from our 7 regional case studies.
In this occasion, the main presentation was divided into two sections; the first one, led by Dr. Jean-Philippe Maréchal from the Nova Blue Environmental company (France), focused on the assessment of coral reef ecosystem condition over the past 20 years. Main results covered major benthic compartments and fish assemblages to detect stable and transitional stages. Ewan Trégarot, from the University of Portsmouth (UK), conducted the second part of the webinar and presented some preliminary results on the assessment of ecosystem services such as coastal protection, water purification and biomass production, and their link with the ecosystem condition of coral reefs in Martinique. This assessment was further complemented by an economic valuation for wave energy attenuation, water treatment and fish biomass production.
With a total of 12 participants, a brief analyses from their profiles and institutional backgrounds showed that this webinar mas mainly attended by partners from the Regional Found of Science and Technology of the Azores, and members of the research community from the regional area of Martinique.
You can access the webinar broadcast video at the following link: https://youtu.be/neab628CEuk
The second MOVE webinar that focused on the case study of the Falkland Islands took place on July 16th. During the webinar, partners from the University of Trento (Italy) briefly discussed the Mapping and Assessment for Ecosystem and their services (MAES) approach and gave a quick introductory talk of the MOVE project and the MOVE webinar series in their importance for facilitating the sharing of knowledge between partners and the general public.
The main talk of the webinar was led by Dr Dan Bailey from the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), who presented preliminary results on the ecosystem services value associated with the giant kelp forests of the Falklands. This work focused on estimating the direct services of harvested kelp-associated fisheries, and potential harvested kelp alginate value as well as the indirect services of nutrient cycling and carbon storage / sequestration. Methodological approaches were also discussed, such as the use and accuracy of satellite remote sensing to measure the extent of kelp forest, and estimates underwater density using SCUBA ground-truthing.
More than 20 people attended this event and, in contrast to our first webinar, we had higher heterogeneity of participants from different backgrounds and institutions, mostly associated to the European research community outside the regional area of the Falklands.
Click here to access the webinar: https://youtu.be/Dsn3i7T4Jbc?t=1
MOVE project has launched a webinar series aiming to present the activities and progress of Ecosystem Services Assessment and Mapping Strategies (MAES) methodology implementation in the different project cases study regions (The Azores, Canary Islands, Saint Martin, Martinique, French Guiana, La Réunion and Falkland Islands). Each webinar is a valuable opportunity to exchange information among stakeholders, regional partners, and the general audience regarding the #MAES process in the EU Overseas Territories and the case study regions.
The first MOVE web seminar, focused on the case study of the Canary Islands, took place on June 18th. The University of La Laguna (ULL-Spain) presented through the Zoom platform the preliminary results of the use of modelling tools, which allow to estimate future scenarios on the state of ecosystems conservation. The meadows of Cymodocea nodosa, a marine plant that colonizes part of the coasts of the Canary archipelago, important in the supply of ecosystem services as an habitat for species of fishing interest and refuge for biodiversity and for carbon sequestration, were taken as samples.
This first approximation made by the ULL presented the model of spatial distribution of Cymodocea nodosa in the Canary Islands based on existing records of the plant, related to different environmental variables such as primary production or water temperature.
During the webinar, the Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT, Azores), coordinator of the project, also made a brief introduction of MOVE, while another partner, the University of Trento (Italy), presented the electronic forum, a communication tool between society and specially, the stakeholders in the mapping and evaluation of ecosystem services in the European outermost regions, and the members of the project.
This digital meeting was attended by 46 participants, mainly representatives from the academic world and from various research institutes in Europe and Latin America. An analysis of the organisational affiliation of the participants also revealed that people from all the Canary Islands attended the webinar, especially members of the University of La Laguna, the University Institute of Sustainable Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography.
Click here to access the webinar: https://youtu.be/dPqqSTJJ-hc?t=1
Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES), as part of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, is entering a new phase in the Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union. With the Kick-off of the MOVE-ON Project, that took placed on May 12-14th, the European Commission funded another initiative to enhance work on ecosystems, their services, biodiversity and condition in the EU Overseas.
The foundation for the work on MAES in the EU Overseas has been set in 2017, when the EU MOVE Project was initiated. This project aims to “Facilitating MAES to support regional policy in Overseas Europe: mobilizing stakeholders and pooling resources” and comprises a consortium of 14 project partners including the South Atlantic Islands (SAERI, University of Portsmouth), French Guiana (CIRAD), the Caribbean Netherlands (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wolfs Company), La Réunion, Martinique (IRD), the Canary Islands and the Azores. Institutions from EU Mainland support the EU Overseas in the project, such as Leibniz University of Hanover, University of Trento and University of Madrid. Implementing first case studies in the respective Overseas regions, MAES methods developed in EU mainland are currently tested and adapted for island specificities. This marks a first attempt to actively engage the EU Overseas in the MAES process.
Building upon this work, has been created the MOVE-ON Project, “Setting the ground to advance MAES in Europe´s overseas: From case studies to anchor projects”. The project is coordinated by the Regional Government of the Azores, trough the Regional Fund for Science and Technology (FRCT) and will have a duration of 3 years and total funding of 1,499,856 €. The MOVE-ON project intensifies the existing collaboration of MOVE and deepens the work in four so-called anchor regions. These anchor regions are located in French Guiana, the South Atlantic, Macaronesia and La Réunion. These regions cover topics such as the elaboration of sustainable development plans and ecosystem services management plans, marine ecosystem condition assessment and mapping, assessment of ecosystem services and functionality and the implementation of ES mapping and assessment outcomes. In close collaboration with policy and decision makers, stakeholders and the civil society, the MAES process will be encouraged from a bottom-up approach. This way, the MOVE-ON aims to accelerate the uptake of MAES and showcase first examples from the science-policy interface in the EU Overseas by 2023.
This information was annouced in the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) newsletter from May and can be consulted here.
Fernando Santos-Martín, professor at king Juan Carlos University of Madrid (Spain), presented the main results and achievements of the MOVE project during the High Level Celebration Conference of the First European Union (EU) Wide Ecosystem Assessment, held in Helsinki, Finland, on 13 December 2019.
The objective of this event was to showcase how to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into public and private decision-making processes at all scales: local, national and continental level. It also aimed to highlight the policy relevance of the work done by the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of the State of Ecosystems and their Services) working group to the implementation of the European Green Agreement.
Among other commitments, the European Green Agreement sets as targets to be achieved by 2030 a minimum 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels, a minimum 32% share of renewable energies in final energy consumption and energy savings of at least 32.5%. In addition, Europe will need to spend 1-2% of GDP on the green economy, including new infrastructure, public procurement, R&D, industrial reorganisation and other needs.
Representatives of all EU countries participated in the Helsinki High Level Conference, and the first results of the ecosystem assessment as a result of the work of the MAES under the EU Biodiversity Strategy were presented. They also discussed how this assessment of the current strategy will contribute to post-2020 biodiversity strategy for the EU.
The participation of MOVE Project in the meeting, with the presentation by Fernando, was highly positive in terms of the progress made in achieving the project’s main goals:
Fernando’ presentation focused particularly on the current state of art of ecosystem services research in ORs/OCTs, with focus on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES).
The presentation highlighted that this information, knowledge and data are relevant for the implementation of Action 5 of Target 2 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
For further information: https://eu2019.fi/en/events/2019-12-13/ministry-of-the-environment-celebration-conference-on-mapping-and-assessment-of-ecosystems-and-their-services-maes-in-europe?fbclid=IwAR2xB2BZZMuWAStXVyEVbjzCCkiWkSU6delTJl_go2UvV9uujy9oWLE8x3U