On 17-18 November 2016, the OPERAs Final UserBoard Workshop took place at the project’s Balearic exemplar, in Palma de Mallorca.
OPERAs is a five-year EU flagship project that started in 2011 and is thus running in its final year. The project establishes whether, how and under what conditions the ecosystem services and natural capital (ES/NC) concepts can move beyond the academic domain towards practical implementation in support of sustainable ecosystem management. The research is led by world-class researchers and is strongly supported by the European Commission. Special attention is given to testing new insights, tools and instruments in a range of case studies within different locations, sectors, and scales. Throughout this iterative process, available resources and tools are brought together in a ‘Resource Hub’, a web-based portal (Oppla) that is co-developed by scientists and practitioners, and discussed with the UserBoard.
Bringing together a group of previous as well new UserBoard participants from the field of ecosystem services, the Final UserBoard Workshop showcased the latest project developments, gathered highly valuable input and user feedback on the project’s synthesis products, visited the project’s Balearic exemplar researching sea-grass, as well as discussed and reviewed the Oppla tool to guarantee the project outcomes’ lifespan beyond the project’s end-date. Together with the consortium partners, Prospex professionally designed and delivered a highly interactive UserBoard workshop process that enabled a smooth and successful user-science dialogue as well as created an environment for open and constructive feedback.