OPERAs webinar 5 question

If I understand the results of the scenarios correctly what you are basically saying is that Europe will have a loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity, this is inevitable. No net loss is not possible in the European Union, even in the most optimistic scenario. Have you been able to communicate these results to people in a position to make policy decisions and what could we do about it?


One must consider the type of model we use. We modelled at a 1 square km scale and using 18 different land use classes. This is relatively coarse for many biodiversity features and also some ecosystem services. And so there are certainly more options possible, but if we really are reducing land use demands by smarter buildings of cities etc that is still possible. But these are not yet on the table. So these also require more local solutions.

We certainly have communicated these results back to the European Commission and there have been follow up studies after this one. This one was completed in 2014. Follow-up studies are looking more specifically into impact assessments. What I think these results clearly emphasise is that perhaps real no net loss across the board is very hard to achieve with our given standards of living. But that does not mean there’s not a range of improvements possible. As I think I’ve shown, for 82% of the landscape there are vast improvements possible. And one thing that for example the model could not account for was land use intensities, agricultural intensity or forest management intensity. There are no wall to wall maps available at present that show land use intensity for Europe, so we could not incorporate those. Bu many of the no net loss measures actually target the land management intensity. So there is also lots to win in that respect which are not captured by the models.

Posted on: 25 Oct 2017 - 15:05