On the 25th and 26th of November, Prospex facilitated the 3rd OPERAs Userboard. This event engaged stakeholders from a diverse range of European private companies, government ministries and non-governmental organisations who are actively involved in ecosystem services and natural capital. During the workshop they discussed the challenges of translating ecosystem science into practice.
OPERAs helps people identify the ecosystem services and natural capital opportunities in their environment by developing concrete tools for policy and practice. The academic world is a rich source of understanding and knowledge about the benefits of nature. OPERAs focuses on operationalizing this knowledge that we already have. A central question during the 3rd Userboard was therefore: how could we use science to impact our daily lives?
Three tools developed by OPERAs were introduced to the Userboard and provided a starting point for discussions. The bringing together of developers and end-users of tools, proved to be really worthwhile and led to new insights about the usefulness of existing tools for decision-makers and the compatibility of a scientific tool with practical reality. During an earlier Userboard the question arose how information and insights from the OPERAs project could be preserved and disseminated beyond the OPERAs project. This resulted in the development of an online platform to share information about nature-based solutions: Oppla. The future development of this platform was heavily discussed during the 3rd Userboard, with a focus on a sustainable businessmodel for Oppla that will allow the platform to outlive the OPERAs project.