On 15-16 March 2018, in the framework of its activities on life cycle assessment (LCA), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology’s (LIST) welcomed its partners in the field to celebrate the successful ending of the research project VALUES dedicated to Ecosystems Services, and to make the state of the art of the ESTIMUM follow-up project.
The well-being, as individuals and as a society, highly depends on how people interact with the environment. Ecosystem Services are the benefits that people can retrieve from Nature. They have to be preserved as most of them are necessary to our survival, and are irreplaceable. To concretely and efficiently support the choices of decision-makers, adapted, reliable and consensual assessment methodologies have to be developed.
In this context “VALUing Ecosystem Services for environmental assessment” (VALUES) was launched in 2014 as an international research project funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and led by LIST. The project focused on the improvement of the evaluation of ecosystem services in the LCA method through the use of an integrated modelling approach.
On 15 March 2018, around 60 participants came to VALUES closure event organised by LIST in Belvaux. The workshop was divided in two sessions. In the first session, the project team described the main tasks accomplished in VALUES and illustrated the project outcomes. While the second session was dedicated to the “After-VALUES”, in which five invited experts from different locations in Europe and USA offered their vision on the evaluation of ecosystem services, to extend the VALUES results and pave the way to follow-up actions that may have practical implications for the society.
A vibrant debate during a final round-table during which all speakers could answer key-questions followed the two sessions. The entire workshop was recorded and the videos will be soon available via the official project website www.lifecycle-values.lu.
Through the collaboration with partners from the Netherlands, Italy and USA, VALUES has contributed to advance the knowledge on how to model and assess the impacts and changes generated by human activities on the value of natural capital and ecosystem services. More specifically, the project has developed, and tested over different spatial and temporal scales (including Luxembourg), an innovative products life cycle impact assessment methodology that can support the analysis of land use (change) impacts on ecosystems and their capacity to deliver goods and services for the well-being of people.
> See all pictures of VALUES closure event on photogallery.list.lu.
As a follow-up of VALUES, the “Ecosystem Service Toolbox developed from multi-scale Integrated Modelling of Urban Metabolism” (ESTIMUM) project started in 2017 with the aim to assess urban metabolism sustainability issues, trying to answer the question on how to address urban challenges using an ecosystem service modelling and assessment approach.
In a nutshell, ESTIMUM consists of quantifying and assessing the value of urban ecosystem services associated with scenarios of nature-based solutions’ implementation.
An intermediate ESTIMUM workshop was organised on 16 March 2018, following the VALUES closure event. A dozen ecosystem service and urban planning experts from Portugal, Italy and Luxembourg discussed together for one day on the evolution of the project tasks and the development of the modelling framework and decision support tools to assess urban ecosystem services in cities belonging to the three countries.
The workshop that gathered about twenty participants was very productive for the ESTIMUM team and rich of scientific exchange, expert inputs and feedback. Another intermediate workshop is foreseen to be held in one year to capitalise the knowledge transferred so far.
On the picture, ESTIMUM workshop's participants
> For any question on these projects, please contact Benedetto Rugani directly via email.