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ALTER-Net: A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network

Europe’s ecosystem research network


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Information about ALTER-Net's 3rd Summer School

Shepherd's house, southern FranceThe 2008 Summer School took place from 2-14 September 2008. 32 PhD students and postdocs from many different disciplines took part coming from 15
different countries. 23 speakers from 12 different countries gave presentations ranging from natural to social sciences and thus strengthening interdisciplinary approaches for future research projects of the participants. As in the former ALTER-Net summer schools the intention was, besides the aspect of environmental awareness, the dissemination, and critical review of the
approach of integrated assessment of vulnerable ecosystems and their services under global change exemplified through biodiversity. The summer school presented the state-of-the-art of vulnerability assessment, including information on scenario techniques, ecosystem modelling approaches for selected ecosystem services. Intensive discussions not only after the presentations
but during coffee and lunch breaks were vital for the highly esteemed special atmosphere of the daily life in the village.

Five working groups were established, working on the case study titled “Managing the human environment system to provide and sustain ecosystem services for all users safeguarding human wellbeing and biodiversity – developing strategies to adapt to future changes (MEDUSA)”. The case study was formulated as it would have been an EU-project in the 7th Framework Programme. The region chosen was the surrounding area namely the Var catchment and the sectors studied were: water, agriculture, rural-urban transition and nature conservation. The fifth group synthesised the results of the other groups aiming at policy makers with their summary.

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