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PRESS RELEASE // 10TH WORLD CONFERENCE OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES PARTNERSHIP AT LEIBNIZ UNIVERSITY HANNOVER

More than 750 participants from around the world are expected to attend

Clean water, fresh air, insects pollinating crops so that fruit and vegetables can grow – nature provides many things that are indispensable for our lives. The term “ecosystem services” refers to essential goods and non-material benefits that humans gain from nature. This topic is the focal point of an international specialist conference that will take place between Monday 21 October and Friday 25 October 2019. For the first time, the event will be held at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH). The 10th World Conference of Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) will be guided by the motto “10 years advancing ecosystem services science, policy and practice for a sustainable future”. On Monday at 10.30 a.m., the conference will – among other things – commence with an opening speech by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Wriggers (LUH Vice President for Research), in the main university building “Welfenschloss”, Welfengarten 1, Hannover. The venue for the following days will be Hannover Congress Centre, Theodor-Heuss-Platz 1-3. Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend.

A detailed conference programme is available online:
https://www.espconference.org/esp10


INTERNATIONAL TRANSDISCIPLINARITY CONFERENCE 2019 – JOINING FORCES FOR CHANGE

From 10 – 13 September 2019 the International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2019 took place in Gothenburg focusing on ‚Joining Forces for Change‘. Transdisciplinary research is an approach that focuses specifically on the co-production and integration of knowledge and expertise from different sources and thus supports transformations towards a more just and sustainable society.
Transdisciplinarians and other interested people from all over the world visited the Swedish city of Gothenburg where the organizers of td-net, Mistra Urban Futures and the University of Gothenburg organized a programme made of workshops, Key Notes and thematic sessions which offered some exciting issues for the participants. Aim of the conference was to bring together actors from different professional mandates, disciplines and sectors to engage and discuss about practical examples that support societal transformation through boundary breaking collaboration.

PlanSmart was represented by Jennifer Henze who held a presentation about her sociological research focusing on the scientificness of participative methods in transdisciplinary processes and thus can make a contribution to the topic of knowledge co-generation. Another focus of her presentation was her experiences as a PhD student in the transdisciplinary field including challenges different from those of her disciplinary colleagues. Both issues were actively discussed in the following and through the positive feedback and inspiring thoughts the research could be pushed forward.  

Photo: Jennifer Henze during her presentation

PLANSMART AT THE ISRS 2019 IN WIEN

The 6th Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science took place in Vienna, Austria, from September 8th to 13th, 2019. Over 280 people from 30 nationalities met under the thematic scope "River landscapes as coupled social-ecological systems" at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) to exchange their ideas and experiences related to the use and protection of water resources considering complex and large river systems. The event comprised aquatic and floodplain ecology, monitoring of freshwater biodiversity, food web interactions, restoration of freshwater ecosystems, hydrologic connectivity, balancing human and ecological objectives, urban ecosystems, ecotoxicology, ecosystem management and ecosystem services.

PlanSmart, represented by Barbara Schröter and Mario Brillinger, contributed to the event by discussing the concept of nature-based solutions with the participating scientific community. Together with the socio-ecological research sister project SEE-URBAN-Water lead by Prof. Dr. Jochen Hack at Technical University of Darmstadt, they organized a workshop titled "Nature-based solutions at different scales in urban and rural river basins". Around 20 scientists from various disciplines discussed in a World Café format how natural-based solutions can be mainstreamed in various scales and areas, and which social-ecological problems (political, financial, cultural, biophysical) exist in doing so. The results of the workshop will be used to write a joint paper.

Photo: Mario Brillinger during his presentation
Photo: Barbara Schröter
Photo: Mario Brillinger

SPECIAL ISSUE ON PLANNING AND GOVERNANCE OF NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS: CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

In cooperation with the research group SEE URBAN WATER, the PlanSmart team currently organizes a special issue in the journal Ambio on 'Planning and Governance of nature-based Solutions in River Landscapes'. We warmly invite you to contribute your suitable manuscripts. In case of interest please send us a preliminary title and abstract until Sepember 5, 2019. The deadline for manuscripts will be in March 2029.

Proposed_SI_on_NBS_Planning_and_Governance_in_Ambio_Call_for_Contributions.pdf
PDF, 419 KB

ACADEMIC EXCHANGE AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY IN THE US

From January to April 2019, Sarah Gottwald, PhD student at PlanSmart, took the opportunity to visit the research group led by Prof Dr Richard Stedman at Cornell University, US. The professor at the Centre for Conservation Social Science explores in his research (i) the sustainability of resource-dependent communities, especially as they transition to natural resource-based tourism development; (ii) environmental risk perception and management at the community level; (iii) causes and consequences of land-use change along a gradient from very rural to very urban systems, with an emphasis on the urban-rural fringe; (iv) natural resource-based decision making among private (agricultural and forest) landowners; and (v) socio-ecological factors that underlie attachment to place and foster subsequent environmental behaviour (dnr.cals.cornell.edu). In several publications, Prof Stedman advances the research of sense of place theory.

Three main activities dominated the academic stay: 1) collaboration in the analysis of data assessed in the PlanSmart Project at the Lahn river, 2) participation in the course „Applying Human Dimensions Perspectives to Social-Ecological Systems Resilience“, and 3) exchange with other PhD students of the research group, formalized through a weekly meeting. During her stay, Sarah Gottwald presented and discussed in different occasions results of her work. Besides new insights from the course and discussions for her PhD dissertation and the whole project, a joint manuscript is in progress.


DISCUSSINGSOCIO-ECOLOGICAL IN EQUALITIES FOR WATER – THE WATERPOWER SYMPOSIUM

The WaterPower Symposium hosted by the Governance and Sustainability Lab at Trier University at July 15-16th, 2019, presented the final event of the WaterPower Project. With the event the organizers not only aimed to present their research results with a broader scientific community but also invited selected speakers to discuss Transformative Development Pathways – Critical Perspectives on Urbanisation, Land and Water”. Around 35 international researchers followed this invitation.

The Symposium was kicked off by project leader Prof. Dr. Antje Bruns, followed by keynote speaker Prof. Michelle Kooy from the Institute of Water Education (IHE) Delft talking about the differences of water supply systems in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This was followed by five sessions and round table discussions on “Urbanisation and urban (water) futures”, “Socio-ecological inqualities of land and water in the peri.urban”, “Water practices in the provision of water”, “Water governance, institutional bricolage and hydro-social relations”, and “Conservation politics, socio-ecological relations and the production of ecosystem services”. 

The PlanSmart researcher Barbara Schröter joined the latter session on “Conservation politics, socio-ecological relations and the production of ecosystem services” and contributed with some insights onpower and transparency aspects in Payments for Ecosystem Services Schemes in Costa Rica. This session addressed the role of societal processes and political strategies in the production of ecosystem services and explored how the ecosystem services approach informs conservation strategies.

Altogether, this was an excellent final event which succeeded to connect different perspectives on urbanisation, land and water, and to explore critical perspectives on development pathways.

© WaterPower Project

A SMART CONNECTION!

How can Governance for Nature-based Solutions (NBS) look like, be analyzed and upscaled? To discuss this question members of both projects, PlanSmart and Reconect met for a workshop in Berlin on June 6, 2019. After a first getting to know concrete project contents plans were made for the synthesis of both projects, amongst others joint products and events. We will keep you updated about the fruitful results of this smart connection here.

© B. Schröter

PLAN SMART IN EXCHANGE WITH FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE IN BERLIN'S MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Every Friday, students fromthe Fridays for Future Movement exchange ideas with scientists from a wide range of disciplines on current issues of climate change and other topics suggested by the young people, such as biodiversity loss or the sustainable transformation of agriculture, energy and mobility.

On two consecutive Fridays in May 2019, PlanSmart’sBarbara Schröter and Edward Ott discussed the potential of nature-based solutions to contribute to adaptation and mitigation of climate changewith the students. Participants were invited to join the discussion by playing an online quiz on ecosystem services and nature-based solutions in river landscapes. The subsequent discussions were thematically broad and greatly enriched by excellent contributions from the young attendees. Of particular interest was the debate on the concept of ecosystem services and the associations it triggers. Typical PlanSmart topics such as governance and incentives to promote ecosystem services were also discussed.

PlanSmart was impressed by the knowledge, enthusiasm, determination and motivation of the students and will continue to take the initiative to exchange ideas with Fridays for Future.

© PlanSmart

LECTURES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COSTA RICA

In the context of her field stay in Costa Rica Barbara Schröter could give two lectures at the University of Costa Rica in San José. In the School of Geography Barbara presented the concept of “Nature-based Solutions for the management of hydrological resources using the example of the Río Grande de Tárcoles watershed”. Main topics of these lectures were the introduction to the NbS concept and possibilities to improve planning and governance processes in the PlanSmart context. In the School of Political Science Barbara spoke about “Climate Change and Water Governance”. This lecture comprised the contribution of NbS and ecosystem services for combating climate change, the concept of water governance and scientific methods for investigating water governance. Both events draw important interest on these topics and future cooperations. 


WORKSHOP ON “RETHINKING THE GOVERNANCE OF EUROPEAN WATER PROTECTION”

Together with Nadine Schröder from Leuphana University Lüneburg and Frank Hüesker from Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Barbara Schröter from PlanSmart is organizing a workshop on “Rethinking the governance of European Water protection”  on 08th/09th January 2019 at UFZ in Leipzig.

During this workshop we want to discuss on European Water governance and to address frameworks/ lenses/ concepts/ theories and methods to research water governance: Which factors, levels and scales do they focus on? Which roles play participation, sector integration and basin approaches? We draw conclusions how the governance might be improved in favor of better performance: Which factors may influence local, regional and national success or failure? Are best-practice examples identifiable empirically? Additionally, we critically reflect how the chosen frameworks and methods predetermine the findings of regulating parameters. We aim for joint products as results of the workshop, like e.g. a special issue, a book, joint conference panels, seeding joint projects, work on the science-policy interface, a manifest and so on, which is open to be discussed and depends on the interest of the participants.

You can have a look at the abstract and preliminary program here.

© PlanSmart
group picture

CAMILA IS ON DEUTSCHE WELLE

Camila Jericó-Daminello, visitor researcher at PlanSmart was interviewed by Deutsche Welle. In this video, she explains her current project regarding the importance of understanding local people's relation with the surrounding nature and how environmental governance is important to pursue a future that allies nature conservation, environmental justice and social development.


ALTER-NET SUMMER SCHOOL

From 22 August to 1 September 2018, the 13th ALTER-Net Summer School took place in Peqresq amidst the wonderful scenery of the Southern French Alps. Under the banner "Biodiversity, ecosystem services: science and its impact on policy and society", ALTER-NET invited international young scientists to simulate an interdisciplinary research project.For ten days the participants were given the opportunity to better know their own strengths and introduce them constructively into interdisciplinary group work.

Camila Daminello (Institute for Environmental Planning - Leibniz University) and Edward Ott (ZALF - Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research) each presented a poster during the Summer School. With the title "Co-Production and influences on ecosystem services: a case study of river management in Germany", Camila presented first results of a social network analysis conducted with stakeholders from the EU-Life-Project “Lila – Living Lahn”. Edward presented his dissertation project "Nature-based solutions in river basins: actors and their risk preferences". Both poster presentations were well received by the participating scientists.

 

 

© PlanSmart
© PlanSmart

SUMMER SCHOOL „BRILLIANT MINDS FOR SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATIONS”

From 29th of July till 3rd of August 2018 the Summer School called “Brilliant Minds for Socio-Ecological Transformations” took place at the ISOE in Bad Homburg. The 30 participating international junior researchers gained insights into theoretical basics of transdisciplinary research and learned about methodological approaches like real-world laboratories or Sustainable Living Labs. On an excursion around the project area of the project NiddaMan in the beginning of the week the participants could first explore the river on a canoe trip and afterwards discuss their questions with involved scientists and practitioners of the completed project. The remaining days consisted of different key note speeches and group works that daily focussed on one of thedifferent phases of inter- and transdisciplinary processes so that in a final overall view the challenges and benefits of such projects could be discussed.

Jennifer Henze, member of our research group PlanSmart, had the opportunity to participate in this summer school and to discuss her research with experts and other participants.

Access to photos and material of the Brilliant Minds Summer School:

© PlanSmart
© PlanSmart

KNOWLEDGE GENERATION THROUGH NETWORKS IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE

From 7th to 10th of July 2018 the XXII. International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology took place in Lissabon, Portugal. With the motto ‘Management of complexity – human ecological solutions for challenging futures’ Barbara Schröter (ZALF) and Marion Glaser (ZMT) organized a symposium  on ‘knowledge generation through networks in environmental governance’.
Short lectures were presented that focussed on innovative methods for collecting, visualizing and modelling data in social and ecological networks in environmental governance and management. These inputs were discussed afterwards with the participants in a World Café format.

On the topic ‘Generation of sustainability supporting knowledge in social networks for governance and management of social-ecological systems’ the journal of the Society for Human Ecology, Human Ecology Review, will publish a Special Issue.

© PlanSmart

LINKING LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES WITH ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

During the first week of July in 2018 the sLandSERv- group met for the second time at iDiv – the German Center for integrative research on biodiversity – in Leipzig.

The interdisciplinary group aims at predicting changes in the supply of ecosystem services through intensity, heterogeneity and fragmentation of land uses by putting a spatial relation between thedemand and supply of ecosystem services and changing land use structures using a social-ecological network approach.

Representing PlanSmart, Barbara Schröter brings a governance perspective to the group.


PLANSMART + RIVER CARE = SMART RIVER SYMPOSIUM

For exchanging experiences in their projects the members of the PlanSmart research group and the Dutch RiverCare project came together with some invited guests in Hannover on 19. and 20. June 2018. Besides the two key-note speakers Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase (Humboldt Universität Verlin) on nature-based solutions and Dr. Joanne Vinke-De Kruijf (Universität Twente) on knowledge co-generation and governance, the participants worked in three different working groups. The focus was on topics like knowledge co-generation, the role of researchers, governance and financing models as well as GIS-modelling of ecosystem services. The symposium built the base for future exchange and collaborations among the researchers.

© PlanSmart

WHAT ARE NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS? A QUIZ GAME FOR THE WORLD WATER DAY AT THE LAHN IN GIEßEN IS PROVIDING ANSWERS

On the World Water Day – Thursday, March 22, 2018 – our colleagues of the LiLa “Living-Lahn” Project from the Governmental Authority of Gießen (RPGI) and the Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (HMUKLV) organized an event themed “Nature-based Solutions for Water”. Citizens interested in the topic had the opportunity to visit the “Window to the Lahn” in Gießen and get informed about nature-based solutions.

© PlanSmart
© PlanSmart
© PlanSmart
© PlanSmart

NETWORKS, QUALITATIVE METHODS AND ACTION RESEARCH IN SOCIAL SCIENCES

During a visit at FLACSO (FacultadLatinoamericana para las ScienciasSociales) in Mexico City on November, 22, 2017, Barbara Schröter presented the Net-Map Tool for participatory Social Network Analysis. Subsequent to a lecture, Barbara was interviewed by Gisela Zaremberg where she explained the methods, its advantages and disadvantages.

© PlanSmart