About the project
Why Nature Benefits?
Nature Benefits, often referred to as ecosystem services, encompass all direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being.
Nature is much more than just protected species and habitats; it provides numerous ecosystem services. While some of them we actively use every day (e.g. food and drinking water) others often go un-noticed – such as carbon capture, water storage, flood protection, air purification, climate regulation, pollination, soil and nutrients formation. All those services create the basis for many resources that support and enhance human activities, from better health and recreation opportunities to economical activities such as food or wood production, among others.
The importance of natural areas goes beyond the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems and includes a wide range of benefits that impact our daily life. The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 underlines the immense value of nature benefits and the urgent need to maintain and restore these for the benefit of both nature and society. Our project aims to support those objectives.
How to learn about and promote Nature Benefits?
How can we translate Nature Benefits in facts and figures and other tangible information to the practitioners that work in nature conservation? How can they on their turn use this knowledge in their communication with the decision makers and the broader public?
During this educational Erasmus+ project on ‘Nature Benefits: from Theory to Practice (TUNE IT)’ ten organizations from five countries across Europe and two international Non-Governmental Organisations will come together to develop a new course for site managers and local and regional administrations on the nature benefits of protected natural areas.
We intend to help the experts involved in designation and/or management of natural areas to understand and benefit from the wider values of their sites. Moreover, we are reaching out to other stakeholders who may be involved in activities not directly linked to nature conservation, with the message that protecting natural areas for their benefits to society is a critical component of our sustainable development.
The training and course material developed in this project will provide those responsible for the protected areas with tools to assess how the management of their sites impact climate mitigation and adaptation and provide them with decision frameworks to assess synergies and trade-offs between the various nature benefits in their daily work. In addition, the course will enable the participants to communicate, plan and, potentially, finance ecosystems restoration.
In order to raise awareness about the nature benefits, the project work will focus on collecting and processing existing scientific and technical knowledge, best practices and tools from a wide variety of sources, including academia and research institutes, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector and translating them into a practical course that will empower the students to better accomplish their daily tasks.
The project runs from March 2023 until February 2025.
The training course aims to transfer the knowledge acquired over many years from research organisations, educational institutes, NGO’s and other institutions to the professionals or volunteers that are active as nature and/or site managers. They act as local administrators or regional managers and their main activity is to protect, restore or manage nature areas and ensure their natural benefits contribute to the common good.
The course will be developed in five languages (English, Dutch, Croatian, Turkish and Ukrainian). It consists of three modules (each about one week long) of training and associated assignments. The course will last approx. 1 year. The content of the course is as follows:
Module 1: Learning the Basics
In the first module the partners will elaborate on the theory and various nature benefits, identify modelling approaches, develop handbooks and provide examples of how nature benefits can be used in the management practice of protected areas. At the end of the first Module the participants will choose which aspect they are most interested to explore in Module 2, in the context of their own day-to-day work.
Module 2: Putting it into Practice
The second module will enable the participants to elaborate on their experience (at a site or regional level) on how to use nature benefits for people (i.e. ecosystem services) in practice. Based on their own interest and/or needs of their organizations, participants will have an opportunity to explore in more detail how to use nature benefits:
- (1) in communication to various stakeholders;
- (2) while choosing the alternative solutions or planning the restoration;
- (3) for finding the alternative sources of financing; and
- (4) for planning the management of their site.
The participants will be coached by trainers and will discuss their work with the other colleagues in the course.
Module 3: Planning for Future Action
To assist the participants in continuing to work on this issue after the course ends, in the last module an action plan will be developed. This action plan will elaborate on the possible steps each of the participants can take in her/his own daily work and which steps might be needed in her/his own organisation to embed nature benefits in the management practice.
- Module 1: 30th January - 1 February 2024;
- Module 2: 8th -11th April 2024;
- Module 3: 4th and 6th 2024.
Registration for the international course 'Nature Benefits: from Theory to Practice (TUNE IT)' starts on 15 November 2023. For more information about the course please click here.
To register please contact Loredana Enachescu, firstname.lastname@example.org. The registration is open until 10 December 2023.
The expected general results :
- Expand the participants’ knowledge on nature and its benefits;
- Raise participants' awareness of potential outcomes beyond conservation and restoration in the natural areas they manage by encouraging them to incorporate socio-economic and development elements;
- Enable them to communicate these benefits to the general public;
- Improve the management of protected areas.
In more details the concrete expected results will be to:
- Develop and implement an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral training course on nature benefits;
- Create online Webinars presenting the content of all three modules and enabling the online access to the training course;
- Online course handbook containing course materials of all three modules;
- Experience movies of participants explaining their experience with nature benefits;
- Practitioners brief, i.e. a short brochure outlining the outcome of the project;
- Establish a network of practitioners supporting each other with information, new techniques and up to date research;
- Develop a skilled group of trainers that are able to provide training in different languages.
Meet the Partners
- Geonatura Ltd Consultancy in Nature Protection