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Expected outputs, outcomes and impacts

Outputs: The primary outputs of the study will comprise an overview on and values for indicators to assess ecosystem capacities to provide services to people. Complementarily to the quantitative information, qualitative estimations of ecosystem which are not yet researched – ecosystem service constellations will be collected and made available, so that similar studies can refer to a first completed data base. Other digitally available outputs will be the national ecosystem service capacity map as well as information on the overall balance between different services and service groups. Based on this, hotspots of endangered ecosystems and/or already degraded ecosystem services can be identified as well as areas with a very high level and number of available services. By including projected climate changes in the assessment basis, also future hotspots of potential losses in ecosystem services will be made visible. This will be published as a report that could form the basis for the second planned IPBES assessment.

Programme objective/outcome 1: The insights in national scale ecosystem services and how these are impacted by land use changes and management strategies are highly valuable for both countries to adjust their respective policies. The information on current and future capacities in providing ecosystem services including their level and the number of services will inform conservation policies as well as land use planning on focal points where an adjustment of management practices, of land use policies and of conservation strategies is recommendable. The processing of data in GISCAME will make these results digitally available for subsequent studies that have potential to feed into the 2nd IPBES assessment.

Programme objective/outcome 2: The matching of huge and well documented data sets (Ecuador) and of technological solutions for ecosystem services mapping and assessment (Germany) is relevant for both partner institutions to improve their analytical capacities, develop joint solutions for how to deal with potential uncertainties in the assessments and how to further develop research for an improved understanding how the different aspects of biodiversity and ecosystem services capacities are related. IKIAM is a young institution (4 years in existence) and can learn from the experiences at MLU in administration, project application, training, lectures and networking. MLU can integrate IKIAM not only special knowhow, experience and network in the Amazon area, but also in the international scientific network. On the other hand, MLU can learn from IKIAM how to operate under a dynamic and sometimes difficult working environment (e.g. blocked roads by landslides, no electricity in the Amazon).

Programme objective/outcome 3: So far, there is only a loose and informal cooperation between the applying partners which could be tremendously strengthened through the suggested project and could particularly provide students of internationally oriented Master courses (e.g. International Area Studies at MLU) a highly relevant opportunity for studying or developing a jointly supervised graduation works. Through the scientific, expert and local knowledge holder workshops, it is expected to develop a network of actors working on similar assessments or having interest in their results as basis for future collaborative projects. By information on the homepage, by policy briefs, newsletters and by leaflets, we intend to inform the public (administration and citizen).

Programme objective/outcome 4: So far, there are only little connections to Latin America so that the suggested cooperation could substantially contribute to the internationalization and particularly experience how to collaborate in research and higher education in developing countries in the Global South.

Impacts: With the fast track study outcomes, we intend to raise awareness on the threats for ecosystem services and biodiversity. By this research, we will contribute to the Aichi Strategic Goal B by revealing needs for adapting land use and management, but also gaps in knowledge that need to be filled through joint efforts to mitigate further ecosystem services and biodiversity losses with their impacts on human livelihood. Especially Target 5 is supported to reduce the rate of loss of natural habitats since we identify areas of degradation and fragmentation and suggest countermeasures. Similarly, ECU-MAES contributes to Target 14 where ecosystems with essential services are safeguarded. By integrating participatory approaches, local knowledge and capacity building, we also contribute to the Strategic Goal E; specifically, Target 18 and Target 19. For conservation, Ecuador´s national development policies that bring together policies, plans, programs and impacts with a long-term vision is termed national biodiversity strategy 2015-2030 (ENBPA) and national climate change strategy 2012-2025 (ENCC). These policy instruments synthesized the country´s development agenda and recognizes that addressing ES is crucial for reaching sustainable economic and social development goals, reason for which ES based approach is included in its priorities. ECU-MAES´s objectives directly concord with ENBPA´s Target 1, 3 and 4 and contribute to complement ENCC´s specific objective 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. We will improve the science base on biodiversity status and trends, and the consequences of its loss. The science base will be shared and transferred. We have already developed the modeling software GISCAME for forest ecosystems in Chile which will be transferred to Ecuadorian ecosystems. We will strengthen the cooperation on biodiversity and ecosystem services between Ecuadorian and German universities but also expand the cooperation by integrating different stakeholder groups and informing the international scientific community on biodiversity research. We will contribute with the results to the international policy debate on biodiversity and nature conservation, especially in the frame of IPBES.