Work packages

The general strategy of the ECOPLAN project has been translated in to different work packages for project management and coordination. The work packages follow a logical sequence of knowledge inventory, methods for integration, methods for mapping, which are demonstrated through case studies. Based on the case studie results the produced quantification and mapping tools are improved and validated. Finally we disseminate and valorise the project results through products, knowledge transfer and dissemination events. Each work package is led by one the partners with considerable input from other partners and work packages.

WP1: Ecosystem Service Demand

Work package 1 aims to provide information regarding the demand for ecosystem services in Flanders. This encompasses the identification and mapping of the Service Demanding Units (SDU): A “service demanding unit” is a spatial range for which supply of an ES from a specific area and land-use is relevant and a demand exists. In a second step a broad range of demand estimations for relevant Ecosystem services based on multiple monetary and non-monetary methods will be developed to be integrated in the other work packages.

WP2: Ecosystem service provisioning

Within this work package the 'Service Providing Units' for the different ecosystem services are identified and mapped. Goal is to link ecosystem service generation to the geo-physical and ecological functioning of the environment. Therefore the mechanisms and processes that are behind the provisioning of a service need to be understood and mapped using Service Providing Units .

WP3: Knowledge Integration

To translate the compelling complexity and bulk of information from WP1 and WP2 to relevant knowledge, conceptual modelling tools such as Bayesian Belief Network Models are used. They allow the integration of available expert knowledge and empirical data, thus strengthening decisions when empirical data is lacking or incomplete. The advantages of such an approach are that these models can be used to identify crucial mechanisms and variables through sensitivity runs. This will help us to identify inherent uncertainty from system functioning of complex systems. In addition, knowledge gaps can be identified from model inconsistencies and poorly defined relations and mechanisms. Knowledge gained from this work package will be integrated in different work packages and tier models.

WP4: Mapping Methods

Within this work package we try to find new ways of characterizing the structure and dynamics of service providing and service demanding units by developing a state-of-the-art hybrid mapping/modelling method that combines object based modelling with pixel based modelling. This will be finalized within the Tier 2 and Tier 3 models.

WP5: Monitoring and Validation

The potential of high spatial hyperspectral image data to quantify certain regulating ecosystem services is assessed within this work package. The research will focus at the local scale and multi-seasonal multi-spectral image data at the regional scale. Hyperspectral images in combination with field campaigns are used to assess the delivery of different ecosystem services at a high resolution within different case studies.

WP6: Demonstration

Three out of six potential case study areas will be selected to apply and test the methods and concepts that have been developed throughout the previous work packages. Each case is supported by a specific end-user organization and in each case study, there will be a focus on either water, agricultural policy or nature policy. The Tier 3 model will be developed and tested only for the case study areas.

WP7: Dissimination and Valorisation

To ensure that the results and products of ECOPLAN are effectively valorized (used) by the end-users, the mapping/modeling end-products are advertised, disseminated and made available through existing, well-known web portals, training sessions and knowledge transfer to the end-user organizations.