OPERAs webinar 6 question by Dara Carroll

What is the role of citizen engagement for the delivery and ongoing management / maintenance of ESs / NBSs, particularly in urban areas? How can planning processes accommodate this?


I think it is critical. We can have the best-laid plans but ultimately you need public support in terms of financing the maintenance or restoration for example. Also in terms of respecting land use as their planned and so respecting conservation areas for example. We’re never going to have the resources to police every area all the time. That’s also probably not a world we want to live in. You need people to buy into these things and to really create the plans and have an investment in it. I think one really meaningful way to do that is to involve people in the actual ecosystems work themselves. Having people spend time in these beautiful places can deepen their connection to them further. We’ve see on example of that in Barcelona, where our colleague Jose has created a programme for local school children to help with beach dune restoration. So this is something that the kids actively go out and do and they learn about the ecology of the beach and the pressures it is facing from development and the level of demand people have for using the beach. But also actively create a better ecosystem there and I think that’s something that’s a lot of work but has a really big impact on the community and makes people feel like they are a part of protecting and restoring those ecosystems.

Posted on: 1 Nov 2017 - 15:41