PhD-projecten, masterproeven en stages bij de onderzoeksgroep Natuur en Maatschappij

Korte voorstelling van de Onderzoeksgroep Natuur en Maatschappij

De onderzoeksgroep Natuur & Maatschappij is een team van onderzoekers op het INBO die zich focussen op de maatschappelijk aspecten van natuur, ecosysteemdiensten en conflictsoorten. De onderzoeksgroep N&M is partner in verschillende internationale, Europese en regionale onderzoeksprojecten, en analyseert hoofdzakelijk concrete ‘real-life’ situaties.  Het huidige actie-onderzoek in een 15tal lokale cases leidt niet alleen tot wetenschappelijke inzichten rond socio-ecosystemen en hun beheer, maar ook tot concrete toepassingen van deze wetenschappelijke kennis in beleid en praktijk, bijvoorbeeld voor visieontwikkeling, ruimtelijke planning en  ontwerp van alternatieve beleidsinstrumenten.

De onderzoeksgroep N&M staat open voor het opzetten van samenwerkingsverbanden voor kort- tot  langere-termijn-onderzoek, en heeft in de lopende onderzoeksprojecten en casestudies vaak plaats voor stages, masterproeven en PhD-projecten. Aarzel niet ons te contacteren voor meer tekst uitleg.

Contact: Francis Turkelboom en Raïsa Carmen

Topics 2020

Overzicht:

  1. Analysis of future ecosystem services of floodplains in Flanders
  2. Cross-casus analysis of desirability of ecosystem services in Flanders rural areas

Analysis of future ecosystem services of floodplains in Flanders

The Future Floodplains aims at providing fundamental insights into the mid- to long-term geoecohydrological dynamics of rivers and floodplains under changing socio-ecological conditions. This will allow evaluating the sustainability of present-day integrated management and policies in river floodplains and provide a framework to revise environmental decision support systems for the future that takes into account the dynamic nature of floodplain systems.

The project results will be evaluated in a wider ecosystem services framework. Throughout the discussions with the various social users active within river floodplains, the conflicting nature of many ecosystem services in floodplains became apparent. For instance, many floodplains are nowadays nature reserves and are managed in a way to obtain a specific ecological status. On the other hand, floodplains are becoming more and more (again) a tool within flood control management plans. However, both flooding frequency as well as the quality of the flood water may be detrimental for the ecology of the floodplains. In order to balance both potentially contrasting objectives in management plans, it is important that local nature conservation managers and regional flood control managers know not only how both ecosystem services (flood prevention and ecological status) will evolve under future socio-ecological changes (e.g. climate change), but also how these would interact in a changing floodplain. Other desired ecosystem services which are dependent on the status of the floodplains include –among others -  recreation, carbon sequestration, agricultural production.

The proposed research aim to assess the changes in ecosystem services in 3 focus floodplains of the project and assess the possible friction points.  This research will require use of existing ESD assessment tools (natuurwaardeverkenner and ECOPLAN-SE  -which require Q-GIS skills) and interviews with water managers.   Based on these assessments the major future demand for floodplain ES and their trends will be assessed, and expected friction points (trade-offs) will be analysed.

Cross-casus analysis of desirability of ecosystem services in Flanders rural areas

While human well-being depends upon the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, global changes and unsustainable human activities increasingly threaten the world’s capacity to deliver those services over the long term. In Europe and beyond, a solution to such challenges can be found by merging landscape planning with ecosystem services concepts. Landscape planning has strengths in recognition of public benefits and implementation mechanisms, while the ecosystem services approach makes the connection between the status of natural assets and human well-being more explicit. It can also provide an economic perspective, focused on individual preferences and benefits, which helps validate the acceptability of environmental planning goals. Thus linking landscape planning and ecosystem services provides a two-way benefit, creating a usable science to meet the needs of local and regional decision making.

Within the Flemish context, the INBO team has participated in several planning process of specific rural areas.  To support this we assessed the demand side of ecosystem services via a multistakeholder questionnaire. These results indicate the high importance of cultural ecosystem services and biodiversity, while some type of agriculture, high-dynamic recreation and hunting are often controversial.   The proposed study will look for general trends in the results of 5 case studies, and identify major conflicting uses.   Via literature research and interviews of key informants, these friction points will be analysed.  

  • Contactpersoon: Francis Turkelboom
  • Periode: 2020
  • Geschikt voor: Intership, BSc thesis, MSc thesis

 

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