The EKLIPSE network is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that aims to, ‘build a Network of Networks: a virtual community of people that are willing and committed to work with colleagues to make sure their collective knowledge and values on biodiversity and ecosystem services are used to support decisions that impact our environment and our wellbeing.’ EKLIPSE plus the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) and the BiodivERsA ERA-Net jointly organised a foresight workshop in Brussels in December 2016 on ‘Social innovation and nature-based solutions: What research is needed to face future societal challenges and emerging issues?’
The participatory workshop explored how nature-based solutions (NBS) can be a response to, or a catalyst for, social innovation to address emerging issues in relation to human well-being and health, governance strategies, land planning and management, and restoration. The following document is a briefing paper developed from the workshop’s findings and outputs and highlights the key research needs to best support and promote nature-based solutions through social innovations in response to current societal issues. More information is available here
There is a high potential for NBS to address environmental and social challenges such
as loss of social cohesion, health, social inequity, loss of connection between people and nature, and inadequate governance models. Proposed NBS for example relating to multiple-purpose green and blue spaces in cities could be seen as multi-functional tools to reach many concurring benefits including educational, psychological, social and economic needs.
NBS and social innovation initiatives should be further developed through research on:
- Assessing the effectiveness of NBS especially in terms of co-benefits:
environmental, social and economic, including research on criteria for measuring effectiveness, trade-offs and synergies between impacts and benefits.
- Holistic/systemic and trans-disciplinary processes to be both used and catalysed
by NBS in land, water, city planning and management.
However, there are also limitations for NBS development and implementation and these are not always understood in the same way especially as an NBS should also increase the benefit for the environment and not just ensure it is “doing no harm”. Several articles have compiled information on NBS added value and limits and EKLIPSE has published an impact evaluation framework for NBS in relation to climate resilience in cities (Raymond et al. 2017).
Finally, NBS are not very well known as a concept by the wider public although many NGOs and other stakeholders may already be working on similar approaches under different names, e.g. green infrastructures, greening cities, ecosystem-based approaches, etc. Such initiatives would need more political and economic backing if they are to be used more widely, and bring effective opportunities.
In addition, EKLIPSE has launched a new “Call for requests” that will run until October 2nd.
- Invitation to request knowledge for informed decision-making
Policy and other societal actors are invited to identify topics or evidence needs relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services and of EU policy relevance, requiring in-depth analysis and a consolidated view from science and other knowledge holders. We particularly encourage the building of consortia representing policy, research, NGOs or individual applications from policy or other societal actors.
Interested parties – including consortia – should apply by 2nd October 2017 by following the rules and procedures detailed below. The selected requests will be announced week starting 13th November, 2017 and will be publicized on the EKLIPSE website.
More information on the processes and the EKLIPSE project funded by the EU in H2020 is available at http://www.eklipse-mechanism.eu
- Objective of the call
EKLIPSE coordinates innovative and transparent approaches for science, policy and societal actors to jointly provide the best available evidence leading to better informed decision-making. The topic and/or evidence needs are identified by policy and other societal actors. The objective of this call is to encourage policy and other societal actors to suggest topics and/or evidence needs to be addressed by EKLIPSE.