The first series of participatory workshops on nature’s contributions to people took place in selected regions

Authors: Blanka Loučková, Jitka Kozubková, Ivana Žížalová, David Stella

In the second half of April and at the beginning of May, participatory workshops were held in Slavkovský les, Křivoklát and Třeboň for invited stakeholders who have the potential to influence the local landscape and nature through their activities in the regions. Representatives of the forestry, fishing, mining and agricultural industries, representatives of municipalities, the non-profit, tourism and nature conservation sectors gathered with the representatives of the One Nature project (CzechGlobe, the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic).

Evaluation of nature’s contributions in small groups (Sokolov workshop).

At each of the three workshops (20th April in Sokolov, 27th April in Křivoklát, 3rd May in Třeboň), participants were introduced to the One Nature project, its objectives, activities, planned outputs and their roles and significance as local experts in the project. This was followed by a lecture called “Ecosystem Services as Nature’s Contributions to People”, during which the concept of ecosystem services (also the concept of nature’s contributions to people) was presented. Various examples of how the concept of ecosystem services can be applied in practice were mentioned.

A game for stakeholders

In the following part of the workshop, the participants were divided into small groups (3 to 5 participants) to evaluate the most important contributions of nature in their locality. The evaluation was performed using the “IPBES card game”, where “players” prioritized the individual contributions in each locality using cards, each of which represented a specific nature’s contribution/ecosystem service. During the group discussion and deliberation, participants selected the most important contribution. Each card with a specific contribution of nature was discussed by the “players” in the group and then rated on a four-point scale.

The acquired data will be further analyzed to determine the most specific contributions in each locality; however, preliminary estimations show that the highest priority was given to the following contributions: Maintenance of options and Learning and inspiration.

IPBES game – selecting the most important contributions in a locality.

Afternoon session

The first afternoon lecture was given by a selected renowned expert in each area in order to present the nature from a different perspective. Petr Roth gave a lecture called Man versus Nature – Where are We Coming from, Where Are We Going? in Slavkovský les, Ondřej Prosický in Křivoklát presented his most famous photographs, and Stanislav Komárek in Třeboň spoke about the development of the local landscape.

After the lecture, the participants were again divided into small groups and were given the opportunity to explore how they would work with the concept of nature’s contributions in practice, for example, when applying for a grant. Day D, the follow-up activity, simulated a situation in which individual groups competed for support for their projects.

Each group had to include as many contributions as possible in their project and impress the “committee” (the other participants and organizers). The moderators gradually took the participants through several steps during which the groups prepared their “grant application”, considered as many contributions as possible, and then introduced the project to the others, along with the reasons why this very project should be supported. The main aim of the activity was to look at the fields in which the workshop’s participants work through the lens of nature’s contributions to people.

Lecture by Ondřej Prosický – Photographs of animals in Czech nature (Křivoklátsko).

Evaluation and preparation of the second series of workshops

Many participants appreciated the workshop as an interesting opportunity to look at nature conservation from a new perspective – from the perspective of the concept of ecosystem services – and as an opportunity to exchange information and establish or strengthen relationships among different professions operating in the same area.

When asked what they would say about the seminar, some participants answered:

“An interesting approach, I was not bored at all.”

“I met people who respect nature and want to help it, and that’s what it’s all about.”

“A good idea that will hopefully be followed through.”

“The beginning of a journey.”

“A great return to school.”

“A good networking opportunity.”

The second round of participatory workshops will be held in autumn 2022 with the aim to identify specific synergies, conflicts and trade-offs between ecosystem services and local stakeholders. The autumn workshops will focus more on the contributions selected by the participants in the first series of seminars while providing an opportunity to introduce participants to ecosystem services, i.e. nature’s contributions, directly in the field.

More photographs from the workshop are available here.

Česká verze příspěvku je dostupná na stránkách projektu zde.

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