During the summer semester 2012, the Research Group Ecosystem Services organises a course on "Ecosystem Services and Land Use" at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin). The course is geared toward Bachelor's students in agriculture and horticulture. In this context, Holger Gerdes, Fellow at Ecologic Institute, teaches a class on the economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
In total, 14 seminars in the form of lectures, discussions and presentations have been organised. The course also includes a five-day excursion to theRead more
The EU has set itself ambitious objectives for combatting climate change. In addition to efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the European Commission is also advancing efforts to strengthening climate adaptation in the EU, primarily by facilitating better exchange of information and practices as well as coordinating relevant activities such as in the case of trans-boundary impacts. Two...Read more
This study supports the Joint Research Centre in a pilot project on the "certification of low carbon farming practices in the European Union". An EU-wide survey of data availability for a carbon calculator tool is carried out, along with the testing of the tool and assessment of policy options for promoting its use. The project documents are available for download.
Agriculture plays an important role in climate change mitigation efforts. The direct emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) from agriculture account for around nine percent of total EU-27 emissions. Specifically, agricultureRead more
How can research contribute to the reversal of soil degradation by improving soil carbon management in European arable and mixed farming systems? This is the central subject of the new FP7-project SmartSOIL and was discussed in the project kick-off meeting held on 10 and 11 November 2011 in Brussels. Ecologic Institute is a core partner in the SmartSOIL consortium, responsible...Read more
While many ecosystem services or "benefits that humans derive from nature" are maintained or produced by agriculture, evidence suggests that some agricultural systems provide these services in an unsustainable way. This Joint Research Centre (JRC) funded study will assess the role of agricultural production as a "provisioning" ecosystem service, i.e. one that provides feed, food, fuel and fibre, as well as its relationship to other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting and cultural). The assessment will be based on energy balance indicators, which will be used to generate an EU-wideRead more
Farming practices exert an important influence over soil functions, soil organic matter and carbon stocks, which in turn are essential to regulating greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. SmartSOIL is an EU-funded project which will develop an innovative approach assessing the impact of farm management on soil organic carbon stocks, crop productivity and other ecosystem services. SmartSOIL will develop a decision support tool to enable farmers, advisors and policy makers to discuss and select the most appropriate and cost-effective practices for different farming systems, soils andRead more
Small-scale producers working in Europe's mountain regions create some truly unique and incredible products. However, they often face problems in marketing, distributing, and selling their products. This animated video, produced by Ecologic Institute as part of the mountain.TRIP project, introduces ideas and approaches for solving them. Yes, it takes hard work and careful planning, but the potential of mountain products really is enormous.
The White Paper on climate adaptation stresses the relevance of integrating adaptation needs and opportunities into key policy areas. This mainstreaming of adaptation responses into all areas of EU policy concerned by climate change will ensure that EU-funded investments and measures are "climate-proof", i.e. remain robust in their effectiveness and value under different climate change scenarios. The project: "Methodologies for climate proofing investments and measures under cohesion and regional policy and the common agricultural policy" will strengthen the discussionsRead more