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Thinking in terms of ecosystem services and natural capital explicitly acknowledges our dependence on nature, and therefore the need to better protect and manage natural resources. For this reason, these concepts have been adopted by policy, but the use of the concepts in practice is still in its infancy. The OPERAs project explores how and under what conditions these concepts can move beyond the academic domain towards practical implementation in support of sustainable ecosystem management
The project had 27 partners across Europe and 1 international including one here in Scotland, addressing multi-scale implementation of environmental policy in Scotland. Over 100 researchers and project staff worked across these 12 live Case study exemplars that looked at ecosystem services at a landscape scale across Europe.
The outreach of this five year project included over 70 Europe wide events attended by over 2,500 participants from science, policy and practice fields. A Scottish Community of Practice was developed that involved the main research institutions in Scotland alongside government and local council decision makers. The community remains vibrant and collaborative and acts as a model for other countries to emulate.
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