The LIFE Programme call 2016 was closed on 15th of September

The last LIFE Programme call, launched the last spring, was recently closed. Many public officers, practitioners and researchers have designed hundreds of project proposals, with significant effort.

The total budget for project action grants for this call is €337 536 184. Of this amount, €273 936 184 has been allocated to the sub-programme for environment and €63 600 000 has been allocated to the sub-programme for climate action. At least 55% of the environment allocation will be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

Ecolinfa and SETIN have designed or co-designed 7 project proposals on different topics. SETIN is also associate beneficiary in 3 of these project proposals.

The Antwerp Declaration on Ecosystem Services

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The Antwerp Declaration on Ecosystem Services was launched during the European Ecosystem Services Conference 2016.

The declaration, with the scope to deliver societal impact, is based on 3 pillars: refocus on principles of sustainability, reclaim the notion of value and expand collaboration.

One of the explicated needs is “Bring business and researchers together to encourage innovation and creation of new flexible business models that integrate ecosystem services”. Ecolinfa is very active in bring business and scientific aspects together, to give value to nature and ecosystem service and find innovative approaches to encourage new financing and governance models.

You can support the declaration by signing it online.

http://antwerpdeclaration.info/sign

Giacomo hosted a session on Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development Goals

goalGiacomo was the chair of the session “Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development Goals from around the globe”, with the co-host SoEun Ahn, from the Korean Environmental Institute.

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.  The SDGs aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, sustainable cities and communities, sustainable terrestrial and aquatics ecosystems and access to water and sanitation.

Ecosystem Services (ES) studies and analysis can play an important role in the implementation of the SDGs, in different contexts, including developed and developing countries. The inclusion of ES in national and international policies, in fact, can support governments, international institutions, academia, civil society, national and local stakeholders to better understand and give value to nature and ecosystems.

This session, took place during the international peace’s day[G1] , proposed discussions on the contribution of ES to the challenges launched with the 2030 Agenda. The session hosted case studies and speakers from Europe, Asia and Africa. The presentations included topics such as agriculture, ecosystem services evaluation, freshwater ecosystem services assessment, and others.

Ecolinfa presented its last experience in West Africa on Ecosystem Services Evaluation

cufadaThis presentation intends to provide an overview of the guidelines to apply the Economic Environmental Evaluation (EEE) in Guinee-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world, with a very low Human Development Index (HDI).

Recently, the Government of Guinee-Bissau and the United Nations have assigned the Partnership Framework 2016-2020 (UNPAF), the UN integrated system’s contribution to the National Development Plan, considering the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Currently the UN is assisting the Government in applying the impact assessment procedures in the Country, providing technical and legal tools. The EEE guidelines are one of these tools, elaborated considering the ecosystem services paradigm.

The EEE in Guinea-Bissau integrates the procedures of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and its main goal is measuring the economic value of nature, before and after a human intervention, to avoid and mitigate the negative effects on the local population and contribute to the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources, considering also the public and democratic participation.

The methodology is based on the assessment and evaluation of goods and ecosystem services, before and after the execution of the works (in the case of the EIA) or the actions relating to the Policies/Programmes/Plans (in the case of SEA), considering the peculiar characteristics of the natural capital and its economic value in Africa and, particularly, in Guinee-Bissau. The proposed methodology is divided into different stages and different methods are considered to identify the economic value of environmental impacts.

The European Ecosystem Services Conference 2016

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The European Ecosystem Services Conference 2016 was held in Antwerp, Belgium, from the 19th to the 23rd of September. More than 600 participants attended the conference, organized in cooperation with the OpenNESS , OPERAs and ECOPLAN projects, the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), at the University of Antwerp.

The theme Helping nature to help us focused on the important role that healthy ecosystems play in supporting human well-being and the protection of nature

The Conference included about 60 sessions, with hundreds of presentations, plenary sessions with keynote speakers, poster sessions, excursions and a conference dinner.

The parallel sessions were divided in clusters on the basis of the topics: Biome sessions, Capacity building/networking sessions, Generic/regional based sessions, Policy and business related sessions, Sessions related to projects/processes, Thematic sessions, Other sessions.

The Operational protocol for beaches management plans in Calabria Region was published

carettaUnder the umbrella of Caretta Calabria EU LIFE Project, SETIN srl elaborated the operational protocol for beaches management.
The project Life Caretta Calabria aims to implement multiple and integrated actions for the conservation of the most important nesting area of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in Italy, located in the Ionian coast of Calabria. The project will address the main threats occurring both at land and at sea, and will propose an integrated approach between institutions and stakeholders, suitable for different local contexts at different levels of the life cycle of this species.
The operational protocol aims to guide the elaboration of the beaches plans, to better conserve Caretta Caretta Marine Turtle, and to provide recommendations and regulations to manage touristic activities in sustainable way.
Leaded by Valeria Scopelliti, the elaboration of operational protocol was coordinated by Alessandro Piazzi. Giacomo Cozzolino was part of the project team.

ASAP LIFE project was approved by European Commission

 punteruolo_rossoAlien Species Awareness Program (ASAP) LIFE Project was finance by European Commission.
The general goal of ASAP is reducing the introduction rate of alien invasive species and their impacts due to an increase of Italian public awareness on the topic and a higher active participation in their management.

Invasive alien species (IAS) are widely recognized as one of the main causes inducing biodiversity loss, as well as heavily damaging human economic activities and health. Biological invasions are rapidly increasing, and the insufficient public awareness towards this problem and their mismanagement are the main constraints for prevention and mitigation of IAS impacts, particularly in Italy. It is thus crucial to increase public awareness on IAS through well-planned and focused communications strategies for different target groups.
The coordinating beneficiary of ASAP is ISPRA, the Italian Institute for environmental protection and research and the associated beneficiaries are: Lazio Region Protected Areas Agency, Europarc Italia, Legambiente ONLUS, NEMO srl, University of Cagliari, Unicity Spa.
Alessandro, associate of Ecolinfa, is one of the designer of ASAP LIFE Project.

The EU ES Conference

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The European Ecosystem Services 2016 conference will be held in Antwerp from the 19th to the 23rd of September. The theme Helping nature to help us focuses on the important role that healthy ecosystems play in supporting human well-being and the protection of nature.

The conference will be the biggest European event in 2016 that links science, policy and practice on ecosystem services and natural capital. It will have a strong focus on practice and implementation.
The conference program has a mix of interesting keynote speakers, plenary sessions and sessions related to the theme
Giacomo Cozzolino and Alessandro Piazzi will present a paper on the ecosystem services and economic evaluation of environmental impacts in Africa. Then, Giacomo was invited to host the session “ES for Sustainable Development Goals”.

Business Planning in Protected Areas

wildlife_traffiking_africa-2The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes that there are significant running costs associated with ensuring that protected areas (PAs) are effectively protected and the importance of the goal to ensure financial sustainability for biodiversity conservation policies.

International institutions and countries can achieve “stable and sufficient long-term financial resources to support their protected area systems”, the so called “sustainable financing”.
One of the main tools to plan and programme the sustainable financing for protected areas is the Business Plans. A sustainable Financial Plan is an iterative and broadly owned plan to attract sufficient and sustainable financial resources to effectively manage the protected area system. It Identifies, prioritises, and presents strategies to fill funding gaps.
Many institutions defined the content of a PA’s Business Plan. For example:
  • CBD defined the Business Plan’s content with a system of questions and answers;
  • conservationfinance.org does not consider the profit the main objective of the business, but rather to improve the management of the protected area and make it financially as well as ecologically and socially sustainable;
  • IUCN provides many tools on this matter: one of this is the document “Financing Protected Areas”.
In Europe, a good case study on sustainable financing is the NATREG Project, which elaborated a specific guide.
Ecolinfa has a significant experience in protected areas management plans, in Italy and Africa, including financial and business planning and international donors’ projects.

Fiscal policies and climate change

fiscalDuring the European Green Week (EGW), the “Reforming fiscal policies to combat climate change” Conference took place in Brussels. This event examined the role of fiscal policies in implementing the Paris.
The most relevant findings were:
  • Almost 90 countries including some form of carbon pricing or other fiscal policies in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs);
  • Only around 12 per cent of annual global GHG emissions are formally priced;
  • Fiscal policies such as carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform can provide a cost-effective approach to addressing climate change;
  • Panellists agreed that carbon pricing does not have to mean higher taxes, but rather smarter, more efficient taxes.
You can find a summary of the event here.