EKLIPSE – Knowledge and Learning Mechanism on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Aim of EKLIPSE is to bring scientists, policy-makers and others together to ensure that decisions that affect the environment are made with the best available knowledge. The project team therefore establishes a flexible, durable but innovative, challenging but ethical mechanism for evidence-informed decision-making affecting biodiversity and ecosystem services. Thus, this European mechanism serves for the requests of policy makers and other societal actors in this field.

Research approach

The approach of EKLIPSE and the mechanism it develops has three main elements:

  • Make use of the existing networks of knowledge holders from all fields of biodiversity and ecosystem services research (and beyond) and build a Network of Networks
  • Establish a process to address decision-makers’ questions by synthesizing available knowledge
  • Use horizon scanning and other techniques to identify research needs for the EU and other funders

All of these elements use established ways of communication and interactions (meetings, expert groups, online tools, this website ...) and will combine them with approaches like methods of knowledge synthesis, online discussion formats and Science cafés to make our activities participatory, transparent, relevant and credible.

The task of ISOE is to accompany the establishment of the EKLIPSE mechanism with a formative evaluation. This means to facilitate a critical and constructive self-evaluation within EKLIPSE that considers both, i) the developing routines for request process as well as ii) the overall governance structure of the mechanism. Therefore, the evaluation asks for the qualities of the request process, of the team-building process, and of the knowledge synthesis process. Furthermore, the relevance of the output of those processes and its (potential) policy impact will be approached. Criteria and indicators for addressing the design of the EU support mechanism, its governance structure and dialogue, be developed. They structure the reflection that is based on, in particular, feedback questionnaires, intervention workshops (yearly event) as well as Evaluation Symposia (two during the course of the project). Finally, an evaluation guideline will be developed for use when the EU mechanism becomes self-sustaining.

Background

How to provide the required knowledge for political decision-making is a question that is relevant in various policy fields and from international to local scales. During the last decades, science-policy interfaces became the key word for different processes that aim to facilitate informed decision making. On international level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for climate resp. biodiversity policy are prominent examples. In Germany, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) may be another example for environmental policies. For the issues of biodiversity and ecosystem services at a European scale a similar body is missing. This was also recognized in the Seventh General Union Environment Action Programme (EAP) when setting the aim of improving the knowledge and evidence base for Union environment policy. An important element was to further strengthen and improve the science-policy interface and citizen engagement, and to intensify cooperation at international, Union and Member State level. This was only one push for starting EKLIPSE, together with many other processes and projects.

Scientific partners

  • NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (NERC-CEH)
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
  • Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)
  • Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversite (FRB)
  • Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG)
  • Foundation for Applied Information Technology in Environment, Agriculture and Global Changes (TIAMASG)
  • Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigacao Marinha e Ambiental – Universidade do Porto (UPORTO)
  • University of East Anglia (UEA)

Funding

The project “Establishing a European Knowledge and Learning Mechanism to Improve the Policy-Science-Society Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – EKLIPSE” is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU Frameworks Programme on Research and Innovation (2014–2020).

Publications

Watt, Allan et al. (2018): EKLIPSE: engaging knowledge holders and networks for evidence-informed European policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Evidence & Policy

Duration

2016/02 – 2020/07