TRAINING COURSE ON MODELLING FOR FRESHWATER RELATED ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Nine researchers from seven different European institutions attended the training course on “Modelling for freshwater related ecosystem services” that took place at the Catalan Institute for Water Research between 17th and 20th July 2017. The participants brought their own case studies, comprehending a variety of problems to face with modelling exercises. A restoration of a 200-m river reach with uncertain outcomes for biodiversity, the construction of an off-stream reservoir within the limits of a national park, the impact of climate change on a large European river basin, and the effects of changing crop production strategy are some examples on which they had to work. The lecturers Vicenç Acuña, Lluís Corominas, Carme Font, Xavier Garcia, Dídac Jordà and Rafa Marcé presented the ecosystem services concept as a framework to account for the importance of the environmental management for the human wellbeing. They scrutinised the opportunities and challenges of ecosystem services-based approaches including the spatial and temporal issues, the stakeholder engagement, the focus into policy and the consideration of the uncertainty. They also gave several examples of socio-environmental modelling to illustrate different methodologies employed for facing different problems. The lecturers also conducted some theory lessons on modelling and helped the participants to develop the conceptual model of their own case studies, to identify the relevant variables and parameters and to translate the conceptual into the mathematical. During each afternoon the attendees had time to work on their cases studies and present their progress, focusing on what they had learnt the same day in the morning. The attendees had in general a very nice time in the city of Girona. They happily finished the training course with some ideas for developing a model that assesses the ecosystem services provision to cope with their socio-environmental problem. The attendees commented for the next time that they would have enjoyed learning specific software, but generally evaluated positively the course.

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