Client: European Commission

OpenNESS is a European Union 7th framework programme that started 1.12.2012 and will end on 31.5.2017 (duration 54 months). The programme is coordinated by Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The consortium of OpenNESS programme consists of 35 partners from 14 different European countries and four from ICPC countries (India,Brazil,Argentina and Kenya).

The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) and Natural Capital (NC) provides powerful way to examine the interaction between nature (ecosystems) and human actions (socio-cultural systems). Despite improved understanding of the links between ecosystem health, provision of ecosystem services and human well-being, research and applications are still largely exploratory. We need more empirical studies and transdisciplinary research to apply ESS and NC concepts into practical management and decision-making. OpenNESS aims to develop innovative and practical ways of applying ES and NC in land, water and urban management.

The programme will identify how, where and when the concepts can be most efficiently used to improve planning and management to become more sustainable. OpenNESS adopts transdisciplinary research approach, which includes stakeholders in Defining research objectives and strategies, and enhancing learning proceses between research producers end-users of scientific knowledge. The OpenNESS approach is based on iterative cycle of methodological development and refinement linked to applications in set of real-world case studies that are base of the programme. The objectives of OpenNESS are divided into six work packages.


  • Understanding how ES ( Ecosystem services) can promote developing sustainable poverty alleviation strategies.
  • Development of novel governance mechanism in the context of pro poor policies, and policies for the sustainable management of ES.
  • Understanding how sustainable management practices can be used to mitigate the impacts of land use change in forest mosaic landscape.
  • Understanding how hybrid valuation methods can be used to frame management responses and resolve conflicts between different actors and interest groups at different scale.