By focusing on Practice, OPERAs reaches a wide audience of policymakers, practitioners and researchers who are looking to better understand and apply the ecosystem services concept.

The aim of Practice is to address the problems faced when applying ecosystem services in the field. Examples of these limiting factors include:

  • Balancing ecosystem services at varying scales and contexts.
  • Challenges in providing detailed ecosystem services in specific cases.
  • Effectively communicating insights that are influencing efforts both on the ground and high-level policy.

By means of a meta analysis, OPERAs is developing and testing tools and instruments that help maintain a sustainable flow of ecosystem services whilst preserving their biodiversity and ecological value. These instruments are being used in a suite of carefully selected case studies known as “exemplars”. A dynamic and adaptive approach has been used in the creation of these instruments via extensive consultation with policymakers and stakeholders.

BluePrint Protocol is serving as the backbone analytical tool for practice, design, and synthesis, which underpin and integrates the lessons learned from practice with other work packages. The BluePrint Protocol is providing the methodological basis for empirical data collection from exemplars and new case studies.

Recent publications by Practice


Brändle, J.M., Langendijk G., Peter S., Brunner S.H. and Huber R. 2015. Sensitivity analysis of a land-use change model with and without agents to assess land abandonment and long-term reforestation in a Swiss mountain region. Land, 4: 475-512.



Bullock, C. and O’Shea R. 2016. Prospects for estimating the social value of environmental

damage remediation based on value estimates for ecosystem services. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management


Imbach, P., Locatelli B., Zamora J.C., Fung E., Calderer L., Molina L. and Ciais P. 2015. Impacts of climate change on ecosystem hydrological services of Central America: Water availability. In: Climate change impacts on tropical forests in Central America: An ecosystem service perspective. Chiabai A. (ed.). Earthscan, Routledge, New York, pp.65-90.


More publications by OPERAs