EU's agricultural and forestry land provides a wide range of public goods (PG) and ecosystem services (ESS) on which society depends, yet land use decisions and society often under-value these . PEGASUS will develop innovative, practical ways of making PG and ESS concepts accessible and operational: it will identify how, where and when cost-effective mechanisms and tools for policy, business and practice can most effectively be applied, increasing the sustainability of primary production in pursuit of the EU2020 vision of 'smart, sustainable and inclusive growth'.
Recognising that the appreciation of PGs is context-dependent, PEGASUS uses social-ecological systems as an analytical framework to explore systemic inter-dependencies among natural, social and economic processes. It will adopt participatory action research with public and private actors and stakeholders to better understand the range of policy and practical challenges in different case study contexts (localities, sectors, management systems, etc.).
An EU-level spatially explicit assessment of causalities between socio-political and institutional drivers, different land management systems and multiple delivery of PG will be complemented by fine-grained analysis within the case studies, and comparative meta-analysis will be applied to develop an operational framework for mapping, valorising and determining what PG and ecosystem service (ES) provision is needed and feasible within particular territories and sectors. New data-sets, transferable methods and tools that are fit-for-purpose and sensitive to the plurality of decision-making contexts will be generated. By improving recognition of the social and economic value of PG, PEGASUS will promote improved and innovative approaches to their provision by businesses and communities, and highlight specific policy improvements. It will provide specific advances in CAP, forestry and other relevant policies, underpinned by strong scientific evidence.