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Header image Ecologic

Research Group on Ecosystem Services established

Research Group on Ecosystem Services established

Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the research programme on Social-ecological Research (SÖF), an interdisciplinary research group has been established aiming to improve the understanding of the relationship between market-based instruments (MBIs), ecosystem services, and the quality of life in Central European cultural landscapes. BMBF-funding was granted over a period of four years and amounts to 1.76 million Euros. Holger Gerdes, Fellow at Ecologic Institute, will be doing his PhD within the framework of this research group.

Seven doctoral and postdoctoral researchers will assess the multifaceted services provided by cultural landscapes in the fields of climate protection and nature conservation. The group, consisting of forestry scientists, agricultural scientists, political scientists and resource economists, will focus their research on the biosphere reserves Upper Lusatia (Saxony) and Swabian Alb (Baden-Württemberg). They seek to identify conflicts among different land uses, and to highlight potentials for a reconcilement of climate protection, nature conservation and other policy targets.

Holger Gerdes, Fellow in the field of environmental economics at Ecologic Institute, will be doing his PhD within the framework of this research group, thereby focussing on the valuation of ecosystem services. He aims to estimate the costs and benefits related to alternative land uses by means of an integrative cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and in doing so to combine traditional valuation methods with a multi-criteria analysis (MCA).

The joint research project is led by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW). Besides the Ecologic Institute, the Öko-Institut, Berlin, and the Institute for Landscape Management at the University of Freiburg are part of the project team. With this innovative cooperation between a science academy, a university and two public-policy institutes, the project seeks to obtain scientific results and, at the same time, to develop practical solutions for policy-making in the area of tension between land use, climate protection and nature conservation.

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