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Implementation activities

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Activities in ecoSERVICES have been implemented in two consecutive implementation phases, one spanning 2005-2011 and the other starting in 2012. The second implementation phase will be ongoing until after the project's integration into Future Earth. Research activities within these phases have collectively focused on:

 

2012-present implementation phase

The scientific focus from 2012 and beyond was marked by recent important changes in the biodiversity science-policy landscape, including the publication of the DIVERSITAS Scientific Priorities 2012-2020 (Larigauderie et al. 2012), the establishment of a Biodiversity Observing Network (GEO BON), the consultation towards the establishment of the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and the launch of the new Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The networking that took place during the first implementation phase of ecoSERVICES was also instrumental in refining the scope for further research in this second implementation phase. ecoSERVICES will also continue international coordination between global-change related research projects in various locations, with the aim of creating synergies as well as global visibility in the transition to Future Earth.

ecoSERVICES aims at linking biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, and human well-being. This second phase of implementation of ecosystem-service science in DIVERSITAS emphasises the need to further characterise and quantify these links. Indeed, while over the last decade several studies have shown evidence of linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services, most of these links have not been quantified at the scale of the ecosystem. In addition, linkages between ecosystem services and human well-being are often at the stage of conceptual frameworks. The lack of quantification and/or evidence for these relationships makes these frameworks hard to apply in practice. In addition, to balance the usual focus on the economic valuation of ecosystem services, ecoSERVICES is strongly willing to promote research on non-economical values of biodiversity (e.g. spiritual and scenic values).

 

2005-2011 implementation phase

In 2005-2011, research and outreach activities in ecoSERVICES were framed by its 2005 science plan and implementation strategy (Bulte et al. 2005).

Scientific challenges met in the themes listed above were addressed thanks to the networking opportunities provided by ecoSERVICES. In particular, BESTNet and TraitNet were two ecoSERVICES projects that significantly facilitated collaborative research. BESTNet was a 5-year networking and capacity-building project that facilitated the implementation of the bulk of the research activities that contributed to Foci 2 and 3, while TraitNet was instrumental in implementing Focus 1. During the first implementation phase, many projects and efforts focused on the analysis of the economic implications of changes in ecosystem services. Thus, much effort was spent into creating collaborative research between ecological and economic sciences and supporting expert networks between both communities.

ecoSERVICES also contributed to the development of research agendas adopted by major research funding agencies in Europe and the USA.

The activities of ecoSERVICES were supported by its International Project Office (ecoSERVICES IPO) located at Arizona State University, in the ecoSERVICES group.

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