The application concerned event support to host a COST meeting of PESFOR (COST CA15206).
The meeting was held in the period .2 to 5. of July 2018 at Bryne with a total of 52 participants.
The event primarily had three goals:
- general information to the local / Norwegian academic community about ongoing activities in the COST action through hosting the event as an an open meeting where everyone had access. We invited to participate from public and professional interest groups. From our aims, we accomplished what we had seen
- to be a forum for the working groups in the COST action. Every day there were separate working groups for the different working groups (WG 1-4)
- to be the arena for Norwegian researchers in the field. We invited to Norwegian participation, but got a problem because the event had to be implemented in the joint holiday (in Norway). There was therefore less participation from the research environment than we had hoped for.
The EU Water Framework Directive aims to ensure restoration of Europe’s water bodies to “good ecological status” by 2027. Many Member States will struggle to meet this target, with around half of EU river catchments currently reporting below standard water quality. Diffuse pollution from agriculture represents a major pressure, affecting over 90% of river basins. Accumulating evidence shows that recent improvements to agricultural practices are benefiting water quality but in many cases will be insufficient to achieve WFD objectives. There is growing support for land use change to help bridge the gap, with a particular focus on targeted tree planting to intercept and reduce the delivery of diffuse pollutants to water. This form of integrated catchment management offers multiple benefits to society but a significant cost to landowners and managers.
New economic instruments, in combination with spatial targeting, need to be developed to ensure cost-effective solutions - including tree planting for water benefits - are realised. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are flexible, incentive-based mechanisms that could play an important role in promoting land use change to deliver water quality targets. The PESFOR-W COST Action will consolidate learning from existing woodlands for water PES schemes in Europe and help standardize approaches to evaluating the environmental effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of woodland measures. It will also create a European network through which PES schemes can be facilitated, extended and improved, for example by incorporating other ecosystem services linking with aims of the wider forests-carbon policy nexus.