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The Adaptive Marine Policy (AMP) Toolbox

Supporting Policy-Makers Developing Adaptive Policies in the Mediterranean and Black Sea
This article describes the functionality of the Adaptive Marine Policy (AMP) toolbox, which was developed in order to operationalize the design and implementation of adaptive policies on the basis of the Ecosystem-Based Approach (EBA). It aims at providing policy makers with a practical framework to design and implement adaptive policies. The authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Benjamin Boteler and Ina Krüger, summarize the results of the application of the toolbox to the marine litter issue in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The article is available for download. Read more

Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management

Experiences from Europe
Innovative ways to manage the urban water cycle are required to deal with an ageing drinking and waste water infrastructure and new societal imperatives. This paper examines the influence of water governance in enabling transformations and technological innovation uptake in urban water management. A governance assessment framework is developed and applied in three case-studies, examining different scales and types of innovations used to tackle challenges in European urban water management. The methodology combines documentary analysis and interviews to reconstruct historical storylines of the shift in the water governance of urban water management for each site. The research provides detailed empirical observations on the factors conducive to innovation uptake at the local level. Critical governance factors such as commitment to compromise, the necessity to build political support, and the role of "entrepreneurs" and coalitions are highlighted. The paper also explores the role of discursive strategies and partnership design, as well as that of regulative, economic and communicative instruments, in creating barriers and opportunities to initiate and secure change. A number of recommendations targeted at innovators and water managers are presented in the conclusion.Read more

Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in Europe

How much do EU environmental policies support ecosystem-based management?

As part of the Horizon 2020 project AQUACROSS, Ecologic Institute and consortium members have published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Ambio examining the potential of Ecosystem-Based Management as an integrative policy concept for improving the integration of freshwater, coastal and marine policies. The article further examines synergies, barriers and opportunities between key European environmental policies to protect aquatic biodiversity across the three water realms. The article is available for download.Read more

Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation

Wilson, G. A., Kelly, C. L., Briassoulis, H., Ferrara, A., Quaranta, G., Salvia, R., Detsis, V., Curfs, M., Cerda, A., El-Aich, A., Liu, H., Kosmas, C., Alados, C. L., Imeson, A., Landgrebe-Trinkunaite, R., Salvati, L., Naumann, S., Danwen, H., Iosifides, T., Kizos, T., Mancino, G., Nolè, A., Jiang, M., and Zhang, P. (2017) Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation. Land Degrad. Develop., 28: 383–400. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2669.Read more

Ambitious Climate Policy Through Centralization?

Evidence from the European Union

Striking a balance between centralization and decentralization of competences is a challenge that dates to the start of European integration. There are some drivers that work towards greater centralization of EU climate policies – the need for enhanced climate action, electricity market integration and a realization of the Energy Union. At the same time, centralization in and of itself is not a guarantee for more ambitious or effective climate policies. In a new publication appearing in the journal Climate Policy authors Camilla Bausch and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute and Michael Mehling of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) trace the evolution and role of the centralization/decentralization debate in the context of EU climate policy. The article looks at emissions trading and the promotion of renewable energy as cases of centralization vs. decentralization, but cautions that this trend is neither smooth nor guaranteed to persist. In the dynamic and reflexive governance system of the EU, there is no one-size-fits-all, optimal balance between centralized and decentralized policy from a climate perspective.Read more

Supporting Stakeholder Participation in Adaptive River Basin Management

Participation in the adaptation processes of river basin planning is necessary for sustainable water management. The article supports this statement by providing an overview of the work carried out within the framework of the BeWater project. We illustrate the methodology applied in the project, which resulted in four river basin adaptation plans for catchments in Cyprus, Tunisia, Spain and Slovenia. Furthermore, the project's case studies are presented as well as the challenges that stakeholders identified within their respective river basins. We show how the project was initiated in the case study basins and how it influenced their river basin management processes. An overview of the prioritized measures is given as well as a summary of BeWater's contributions to future river basin management undertakings. We end the overview with an outlook on how stakeholder participation can improve river basin adaptation.Read more

Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and a key player to steer our economy towards a more circular model. However, their small size means that they face unique challenges on the path to closing loops and improving resource efficiency. In an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability, under lead authorship by Vasileios Rizos from CEPS, Terri Kafyeke, Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, and other members of the GreenEcoNet project consortium explore barriers and opportunities faced by SMEs trying to become greener.Read more

Nature-based Solutions to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Urban Areas

Perspectives on Indicators, Knowledge Gaps, Barriers, and Opportunities for Action
Nature-based solutions promoting green and blue urban areas have significant potential to decrease the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of cities in light of climatic change. They can thereby help to mitigate climate change-induced impacts and serve as proactive adaptation options for municipalities. We explore the various contexts in which nature-based solutions are relevant for climate mitigation and adaptation in urban areas, identify indicators for assessing the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and related knowledge gaps.Read more

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