In the period of 22-25th of August, Sapientia University hosted a major workshop organized within the international transdisciplinary project ‘Sustaining agricultural change through ecological engineering and optimal use of ecosystem services’ (acronym: STACCATO), which is coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany.
The major goal of the workshop was to build upon discussions and agreements reached during the kick-off meeting organized in Sofia (April, 2016) and to further elaborate on the conceptual and methodological framework within which the research is going to be conducted. Twenty-seven people representing each partner of the project attended this workshop. The activities were carried out in two parallel working groups and in plenary: one group developed the methodology for biophysical assessments (including all relevant indicators for provisioning and regulating ecosystem services) and the other group worked with the social aspects of ecosystem service assessments including the involvement of stakeholders. Results from the two groups were synchronized in the afternoon as well as during a field trip to two different areas (Vultureni and near Turda) where the participants could get a first glimpse of the social-ecological features of Transylvanian farmlands.
The major goal of this project is to advance the long-term sustainable development of land use systems against risks of global change. The research initiative aims at quantifying the sensitivity of ecosystem functions and their subsequent ecosystem services to environmental pressures in representative agriculturally dominated landscapes across Europe. Core project partners comprise people from six European countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and Spain. An increasing number of partners became and is expected to become associated to the project.
The ecosystem services assessed within STACCATO are: provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services; all having substantial importance for the development of social-ecological sustainability in farming landscapes. These ecosystem service categories will be related to landuse intensity, biodiversity and the broad socio-economic system in which they are embedded.
The transdisciplinary character of the study is corroborated by the strong collaborations with local stakeholders as well as with the policy-relevant institutions on local, regional, national and international scales.
Read more information about STACCATO project.