Training future experts in "biodiversity and ecosystem services": a progress report

W. Cramer, U. Fritsch, R. Leemans, S. Lütkemeier, D. Schröter, A. Watt

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Biodiversity is essential for multiple aspects of human life and well-being, but many current assessments of the functioning of biodiversity and ecosystems, understanding of risks posed by environmental change and the best practice of their management of ecosystems are lacking a unified scientific and conceptual basis. Methods such as scenario analysis, and terms such as ecosystem services, are widely used, but their meaning is understood in many different ways depending on context, user needs and experience of researchers. In order to advance the conceptual basis for ecosystem analysis and management in a rapidly changing world, as well as the ability of young scientists to reflect upon these concepts, we have organised five 2-week-long summer schools in Peyresq, a remote village in the Southern French Alps. In total 173 participants have worked intensively with 69 experienced researchers and a team of conveners and tutors in order to discuss a broad range of views on topics on ecosystem analysis and functioning. Topics ranged from conditions of and threats to various ecosystems due to environmental change, models and scenarios for assessment, stakeholder perceptions and needs for information, to the social and economic contexts for biodiversity. We report our experience from these schools, present the training concept which has emerged from them and suggest lines of further development
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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