Collaboration for healthier ecosystems in Europe

September was an eventful month for ESMERALDA. In the middle of the month, the project held a series of key meetings to set the foundation for future collaboration not only within the project itself, but also with key stakeholders and related projects.

On 15 Sep, in Brussels, ESMERALDA had the fifth of its regular Executive Board meetings, designed to bring together project partners and set objectives for the next period. On the next day, 16 Sep, followed the first Science-Policy-Society Advisory Board (SPSAB) meeting, as well as the first of a series of meetings designed to bring ESMERALDA in the same room with related projects, representatives from the European Commission and relevant initiatives to discuss future axes of collaboration.

Images from the 5th Executive Board meeting in Brussels. Credit: B. Burkhard

While the routine Executive Board meeting was targeted at keeping in check past tasks and set a working plan for the next couple of months, the SPSAB meeting on the next day was a first of its kind for the project. The role of the multidisciplinary SPSAB is to advise the ESMERALDA Executive Board on the project performance, progress and on international developments in the scientific field. The Board consists of international key science and policy professionals working in relevant fields, and acts as a peer-review panel with respect to new project proposals, the research results as a whole and the training and communication activities.

The 16 Sep was a date marked by another important project workshop where ESMERALDA met key European projects and initiatives. This was a first of a series of workshops aimed to develop ESMERALDA communication with relevant initiatives to foster future collaboration and visibility of results.

During this first workshop ESMERALDA met with representatives from the OPPLA and BISE online platforms, designed to collect information and foster collaboration between EU projects in the spheres of Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, and Ecology. More information about the two platforms and other relevant projects and initiatives is available here.

On 17 Sep, several project partners participated in the 10th Meeting of the EU Working Group on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES). MAES is highly relevant and ESMERALDA has been designed to significantly support the Working Group’s activities. The MAES meeting was followed by a meeting on how MAES can support the deployment of Green Infrastructure in Europe on 18 Sep in Brussels.