AQUATAP-ES Stakeholders Event: Aquatic ecosystem services on the science-policy-practice connection: challenges and opportunities

The Water JPI and AQUATAP-ES network organized a stakeholders showcase event on “Aquatic ecosystem services on the science-policy-practice connection: challenges and opportunities”. The virtual event was held on 22nd June 2021, showcasing the extensive outputs from the AQUATAP-ES network over its 24-month lifespan to date. It also included a high-level panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of integrating the Ecosystems services approach into everyday management of our water resource. The panel also discussed the potential future of the network and how to sustain the group going forward. A Question and Answer session was facilitated with attendees’ questions being put to the panel for consideration and discussion; and finally, the key points were wrapped up. 

Following an introduction of the Water JPI and its activities, Prof. José María Bodoque del Pozo (AQUATAP-ES Scientific Coordinator 2020-2021) presented the key achievements of the first Thematic Annual Programming (TAP) action AQUATAP-ES entitled “Developing Approaches for Assessing and Optimising the Value of Ecosystem Services’’. The outputs of the AQUATAP-ES network are available on the Water JPI website.

The success of the event was undoubtedly enabled by the support and open discussion of the distinguished high-level panel of experts and key stakeholders; namely Ronald de Bruin (Director of the COST Association), Panagiotis Balabanis (Head of Sector water, DG RTD), Mostafa Panahi (Environmental and Energy Economics Expert IPBES), Prof. Mary Kelly Quinn (AQUATAP-ES Scientific Coordinator 2019-2020) and Nihat Zal (Water Resources, Water Scarcity and Droughts Expert, EEA).

This showcase event brought together researchers, water and catchment managers and policy-makers from European and International institutions and stakeholders, Member States, universities and research institutes. Its aim was to identify common challenges and solutions to integrating the Ecosystem Services Approach into everyday management of our waters. The webinar also offered interactive opportunities of exchange around the sustainability of the AQUATAP-ES network and the future for the Thematic Annual Programming (TAP) action.

The presentation and the report of the High-Level Panel Discussion and interactive session with participants are available on the event webpage here.

The AQUATAP-ES relies on the establishment of a network or cluster of excellence of national research & innovation projects from across Europe with the overall goal to inform Policy & Practice by seeking to foster integration of the ecosystem service concept/ framework into decision-making relating to the management of aquatic resources. As part of the event, some of the projects that participated in the AQUATAP action on Ecosystem Services realized a video that briefly illustrates their projects objectives and main results.

Watch the video: here

More information on the AQUATAP-ES network and outcomes here