The EU project GUARDEN which stands for “safeGUARDing biodivErsity aNd critical ecosystemservices across sectors and scales” has officially started its research journey and organized its kick-off event in Montpellier, France, last month.
GUARDEN includes 15 different partners from 7 countries whom will work closely to develop user-oriented Decision Support Applications, and leverage on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships aiming to protect biodiversity and its contributions to people by bringing them at the forefront of policy and decision-making. The consortium will take into account policy and management objectives and priorities across sectors and scales and build consensus to tackle data gaps, analytical uncertainties or conflicting objectives, and assess options to implement adaptive transformative change. To do so, partners will make use of a suite of methods and tools using Deep Learning, Earth Observation, and hybrid modelling to augment the amount of standardized and geo-localized biodiversity data, building up a new generation of predictive models of biodiversity and ecosystem status indicators under multiple pressures (human and climate), and propose a set of complementary ecological indicators likely to be incorporated into local management and policy.
GUARDEN’s Decision Support Applications (DSAs) will help stakeholders engaged in the challenge to improve their holistic understanding of ecosystem functioning, biodiversity loss and its drivers and explore the potential ecological and societal impacts of alternative decisions. Upon the acquisition of this new knowledge and evidence, the DSAs will help end-users not only navigate but also (re-)shape the policy landscape to make informed all-encompassing decisions through cross-sectoral integration.
ICCS is proud to be among project’s partners and during GUARDEN’s course, aims to develop an advanced mobile application using Augmented Reality technology to support the visualisation of the simulation models with main goal to engage end users and stakeholders towards biodiversity restoration and assist them in better understanding the meaning of the proposed models. In addition, our team will assess the performance of GUARDEN’s system elements, will improve the understanding and monitoring of impacts and develop interactive and impactful replication guidelines.