OPERAS aims to improve the understanding of how Ecosystem Services/Natural Capital (ES/NC) concepts may 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.
Mediterranean forests play a pivotal role for local economies by providing a large array of ecosystem services and goods.
Northern ToSIA - Assessing Sustainability of Forest-based Activities in Rural Areas of the Northern Periphery
The aim of the project is to investigate options for improving the sustainable use of forest resources in selected regions of the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) area in Finland, Sweden, Scotland and Norway by using an innovative sustainability impact assessment tool, ToSIA. ToSIA stands for Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment of the Forest Wood Chain and it analyses the sustainability of production processes in the Forest Wood Chain in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability indicators.
Social innovation (SI) encompasses the new forms of interrelating which aim at solving shared problems and achieve common goals through strengthened collaboration. This social structure is especially relevant in rural areas to overcome provisioning, commercial or environmental challenges i.a. Consumer-producer networks, associations, or cooperatives exemplify some SI.
Lack of information, capacities and knowledge at different stages of the non-wood forest products (NWFP) value chain, often prevents realising the full potential of NWFP and multi-purpose trees (MPT) in generating wealth in rural areas in the context of a bio-based European economy. The goal of this project is to provide better understanding, knowledge, guidance and tools to support relevant stakeholders in optimising the management of MPT and developing innovative approaches for increasing the marketability and profitability of NWFP for a more competitive rural economy.
The four year EU FP7 project Valerie (VALorising European Research for Innovation in agriculturE and forestry) started on 1 January and the kick off meeting took place 16-17 January in Wageningen, the Netherlands. This project brings together 14 partners from 6 countries across Europe.
Many EU and nationally funded research projects in the fields of agriculture and forestry provide excellent results, but the outreach and translation of these results and bringing them into practice is limited.
The general objective of the project was to analyse the potentials and practices in utilising local forest resources for high value added production, especially in the border regions of EU. The specific objectives of the project were to: