The CCRI is one of 14 pan-European partners, covering ten member states, working as part of a consortia for an EU Horizon 2020 research project, which is being led by the IEEP – Institute for European Environmental Policy. The project is called PEGAGUS, an acronym for ‘Public Ecosystem Goods And Services from land management: Unlocking the Synergies’.
The project is investigating the provision of public goods and ecosystem services from agriculture and forestry, aiming to unlock the synergies between economic and environmental benefits for society.
CCRI researchers Janet Dwyer, Chris Short, Peter Gaskell, Paul Courtney, Katarina Kubinakova and Nick Lewis are involved in this project which begun in May 2015 and will run for 3 years.
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 and other relevant policies, underpinned by strong scientific evidence.
The CCRI is conducting case-studies in the following areas:
Official website: http://pegasus.ieep.eu/
On 29 and 30 April 2015, a CCRI research team attended the kick-off meeting of PEGASUS, held at St Matthews Conference Centre, Westminster, London.
Members from the 14 pan-European partners met together for the first time to determine the key issues for the project and set out the lines of responsibilities over the next three years.
Janet Dwyer, Chris Short and Katarina Kubinokova attended a PEGASUS project meeting in Evora, Portugal, in January 2016.
This meeting showcased the first year’s work on the PEGASUS project and provided a platform and training for the second year of the project.
Whilst there, our team visited The Montado, a Mediterranean silvo-pastoral land-use system dominated by Holm Oaks (Quercus ilex) and Cork Oaks (Quercus suber). This traditional landscape is recognised as delivering a wide variety of ecosystem services and public goods due to the multi-functional land-use systems and rich ecosystems. Current initiatives are seeking to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the area to benefit nature sand the whole region.
The final two days of the meeting were set aside for training led by Katarina and Chris, together with colleagues from IFLS in Germany.
The second year of PEGASUS is set aside for case studies, with 32 being undertaken in 10 member states, including 4 in England.
Field Trip – May, 2016
Pete Gaskell and Nick Lewis travelled to the Northern Pennines AONB – Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership. Read the blog!
Janet Dwyer contributed to a blog on the PEGASUS project, entitled ‘Introducing the social-ecological system framework: a review of public goods and ecosystem services theories and concepts’.
Four members of the UK PEGASUS team attended a project meeting in Estonia. During the meeting, 30 team members heard results from all 34 case studies and determined how they would prioritise the selection of indepth
case studies for deeper analysis.
The WILD project was chosen for inclusion in the final 12 case studies because it is a mature initiative that is able to provide robust evidence as to the impact of this integrated approach. Aspects of the approach might also be
transferable to other situations across the EU and the dynamic between public and private partnership is a new area of development. This stage of the work will be complete early in 2017 after which the reports will be discussed in a project meeting.
Janet Dwyer and Chris Short attended the 2nd PEGASUS Annual Steering Group Meeting, which took place between 14th to 16th March., where Chris presented the findings of the in-depth study into the WILD case study. The key aspects recognised here were the role of facilitation and the delivery partners (FWAG, GRCC, CWPT) in linking delivery of the Water Framework Directive with agri-environment initiatives and local development infrastructure, all relevant in terms of how land (urban & agricultural) and water interact. The focus on coordinated action to resolve integrated environmental challenges was noted as being particularly transferable to other situations. While ecological changes are difficult to record, there is evidence of behaviour change as a result of knowledge exchange and advice.
Chris Short and Janet Dwyer attended a PEGASUS workshop – ‘How to enhance the sustained provision of public goods through farming – a focus on the CAP’ – in The Hague on 16th November.
The workshop was attended by Marjolijn Sonnema, Director-General Agriculture & Nature at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands.
The PEGASUS project is now entering its final stages and the event was one of a series where the emerging findings of the project are being shared with a number of stakeholders.
Chris presented the PEGASUS toolkit, which has been developed based on the 34 project case studies. The toolkit is designed to help deliver projects and initiatives to produce environmentally and socially beneficial outcomes, though recognises that this can be very challenging. The project has shown that there are often many barriers that prevent projects and initiatives achieving success. Our partners have shown that there is a demand for a toolkit of proven methods and techniques which can be used by people and organisations to achieve success.
The toolkit is essentially a structured collection of possible actions to help develop and guide projects and initiatives, which can be adapted to suit local circumstances, using a variety of methods. Its main purpose is to illustrate actions that have worked in the PEGASUS case studies, which are sufficiently widely applicable that they could work in other local projects and initiatives.
In the presentation, Chris addressed key questions, such as what is the best way to make the toolkit accessible to the people and organisations who need it, as well as how we can learn from experiences of using the toolkit.
A new film was also released for the CCRI case study for the PEGASUS project, WILD (Water & Integrated Local Delivery). WILD is a collaborative project which has brought local communities and landowners together in understanding and getting involved in the management of local water courses. With local community input it also devised and delivered a plan of enhancements over a three year period.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research and innovation grant agreement no 633814.