A book on best practices on mapping and assessing wetlands has just been published, based on our findings from the WetEcos project and our previous publications. The book is titled “Best practices guide on mapping and assessing wetland ecosystems and their services” and is published by Universitas (ISBN 978-973-741-534-9).
The core Econ project prepared an introductory economics curriculum that is freely available online. The e-book is simply called The Economy and provides lecture slides and tests, covering several economic issues like inequality, globalization, climate change, etc. Some of the material of the course has been used at colleges around the world, including the University College London and Sciences Po, in Paris.
Lamprinakis, L., Rodriguez, D. G. P., Prestvik, A. S., Veidal, A., and Klimek, B. (2017). A Mixed Methods Approach Towards Mapping and Economic Valuation of the Divici-Pojejena Wetland Ecosystem Services in Romania. Proceedings In Food System Dynamics (ISSN:2194-511X): Pages 31-47. Available online.
The final seminar of the WetEcos project took place in Bucharest on March 22, where we presented the results of our report on mapping and economic assessment of ecosystem services. The project was financed by the EEA Norway Grants and we collaborated with two local partners: National Institute for R&D in Environmental Protection Bucharest (INCDPM), and Danube Delta National Institute (DDNI – INCDPM Tulcea Branch).
The project follows Action 5 from the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 for mapping and economic valuation of wetlands across Europe.
The report will be soon available on the WetEcos website. Parts of the report where presented at the Igls Forum 2017 and an academic peer-reviewed article is also expected to be published later this year.
The latest paper “Mapping and economic valuation of the ecosystem services provided by a wetland site in Danube” was presented at the 11th International European Forum (Igls-Forum) (161st EAAE Seminar) on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.
The paper is about mapping and valuating ecosystem services in wetlands. Our focus was the protected wetland area in the Divici-Pojejena region in Romania. We use a mixed methods approach: the qualitative part relied on focus groups and interviews to identify key stakeholders and services provided by the wetland site. Then, we apply the benefit transfer (BT) method for the monetary valuation of the ecological services of the site. After exploring different approaches we finally chose a meta-regression model as a basis for our evaluation.
Our analysis revealed that bird watching opportunities, water quality services, flood prevention services and habitat services provided by the wetland are among the highest valued services, while the amenity services are the least valued among all wetland services.
The services of flood prevention and water quality follow, signifying the importance of the area in reducing damage due to flooding and severe storms, as well as the reduced costs of water purification resulting from retention and transformation of nutrients. The wetland also serves as a significant habitat, mainly for avian species (this was particularly valued by stakeholders with environmental protection interests). Services related to water quantity and storm also have a significant contribution due to the recharging of ground water and the reduction of erosion resulting from stabilization of sediment. Amenity appears to have the least contribution of the ecological services, probably due to the restrictions that are applied to the area (e.g., prohibiting fishing).
The paper will be soon be published at the Conference Proceedings.
Tech anthropologist Genevieve Bell discusses how to “make sense” of AI – essentially how an ethnographic interview with an AI (entity?) would look like. Her presentation was a keynote address on O’Reilly AI conference in New York City September 26-27, 2016.
Bell addresses basic ethnographic questions of origin and upbringing, current role and prospects, only this time she is facing an AI, trying to make sense of it. So, for an AI or a machine-learning entity, the issues are: where it comes from, what role it plays in our today’s world, and where it is going. A whole world of possibilities opens, including issues on art, intent and dreams.
Also check out Satya Nadella (CEO, Microsoft) talking on intelligent agents, augmented reality and the future of productivity.