Glossary 2019-07-09T08:52:12+01:00

Technical and project terms used in the SINCERE project

Certain technical terms relating to forests and forest ecosystem services,
as well as terms used by the Sincere project, are defined below.

Ecosystems, ecosystem services
and related terms

Biodiversity: The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems (Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992).

Bioeconomy (forest-based): all economic activities based on the entire spectrum of (forest) ecosystem services.

Ecosystem: A dynamic complex of plants, animals, and microorganisms, and their non-living environment, interacting as a functional unit (Convention on Biological Diversity).

Examples include forests, deserts, coral reefs and wetlands.

Environmental externalities: A consequence of an action that affects someone other than the agent undertaking that action, and for which the agent is neither compensated nor penalised. Externalities arise when an individual, a firm or a country takes an action but does not bear all the costs (negative externality) or all the benefits (positive externality) of the action (Biodiversity A-Z, 2018, adapted from World Bank 2000).

Forests: A minimum area of land of 0.05 – 1.0 hectares with tree crown cover (or equivalent tree stocking level) of more than 10 – 30 %. Trees have the potential to reach a minimum height of 2 – 5 m at maturity in situ. (Kyoto Protocol, Decision 11/CP.7, cit. in IPBES, 2018.

Forest ecosystems: A forest ecosystem can be defined at a range of scales. It is a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their abiotic environment interacting as a functional unit, where trees are a key component of the system. Humans, with their cultural, economic and environmental needs are an integral part of many forest ecosystems. (Convention on Biological Diversity)

Ecosystem Services (ES): The “benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (MEA 2005a) or “nature’s contribution to people” (IPBES 2018). In the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, ecosystem services are divided into four categories: supporting; regulating; provisioning; cultural. This classification, however, is superseded in IPBES assessments because many services fit into more than one of the four categories. Instead, IPBES refers to the material, non-material and regulating contributions to people from nature. Finally, it is important to consider products or goods in a different way to other services, as they have a tangibility that gives them specific economic features.

Examples include the supply of food, water and timber (provisioning services); the regulation of air quality, climate and flood risk (regulating services); opportunities for recreation, tourism and education (cultural services) (Defra 2013).

Forest Ecosystem Services (FES): Forests’ contribution to people: forest goods and services that bring direct or indirect economic, materialistic, physiological, psychological, emotional or social advantage to the human population.

Examples include edible and non-edible products that come from trees or grow in forests; water, air and soil quality; hunting, fishing, tourism and leisure activities; and nutrient and water cycling. See Forestry Commission, 2015 for further examples.

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES): the term PES is used to describe schemes in which the beneficiaries, or users, of ecosystem services provide payment to the stewards, or providers, of ecosystem services. In practice, PES often involves a series of payments to land or other natural resource managers in return for a guaranteed flow of ecosystem services (or, more commonly, for management actions likely to enhance their provision) over-and-above what would otherwise be provided in the absence of payment. Payments are made by the beneficiaries of the services in question, for example, individuals, communities, businesses or government acting on behalf of various parties. (Defra 2013). Incentives to provide Ecosystem Services do not necessarily have to involve payment, for this we use the term Ecosystem Service Incentives.

Examples include reverse auctions for forest carbon and biodiversity targets; voluntary harvesting permits; payments for watershed services; and community payments for erosion control.

Reverse Auction: A reverse auction is a type of auction in which sellers bid for the prices at which they are willing to sell their goods and services. In a regular auction, a seller puts up an item and buyers place bids until the close of the auction, at which time the item goes to the highest bidder. In a reverse auction, the buyer puts up a request for a required good or service. Sellers then place bids for the amount they are willing to be paid for the good or service, and at the end of the auction the seller with the lowest amount wins (Investopedia, 2018).

Sincere terms

Ambassadors: SINCERE’s dynamic advisory board, which also acts as a dissemination panel. Five key stakeholders or experts from the business and policy sectors are invited to every consortium event. The ambassadors are expected to provide input based on their experiences and backgrounds, but are also meant to act as replicators that carry knowledge forward into their respective professional spheres. SINCERE invites distinct ambassadors to each event to maximise multiplier effects.

Co-design: both the joint development of innovative mechanisms that support the provision of forest ecosystem services in view of implementing them in concrete innovation actions and the joint formulation of questions for the evaluation of these mechanisms in the innovation actions by practice partners and researchers.

Co-Evaluation: the joint evaluation of innovative mechanisms to support the provision of forest ecosystem services in innovation actions by practice partners and researchers.

Co-Implementation: the joint implementation of innovative mechanisms to support the provision of forest ecosystem services in innovation actions by practice partners and researchers.

Co-Learning: the mutual learning of practice partners, researchers and policymakers based on the innovation actions and the Learning Architecture.

Europe-wide incentive system for Forest Ecosystem Services: a major impact goal of SINCERE. The system can be created through the interplay of (supporting) EU and national policies and (incentivised) on-the-ground innovations related to the provision of forest ecosystem services.

IA (Innovation actions): activities conducted in the regional cases directly aimed at co-designing, co-testing, co-implementing and co-evaluating innovative mechanisms that support the provision of forest ecosystem services.

IM (Innovative mechanisms): novel policies, business models and other mechanisms, including payments for environmental services, implemented in an IA to support the provision of forest ecosystem services.

IA cases (Innovation action cases): the regional cases where innovation actions are launched. Initial innovation action cases are those currently in the diagnosis stage of the innovation cycle; in early-stage innovation action cases, innovative mechanisms have mostly been developed and are, partially, in the early phase of implementation; in mature innovation action cases, innovative mechanisms have been developed and are currently being implemented, but there is a necessity to re-assess performance and to further refine the IM.

Innovation Cycle: the cyclic, evolutionary process of the development of innovative mechanisms that support the provision of forest ecosystem services. The cycle starts from the recognition of a gap between supply and demand for forest ecosystem services (Diagnosis Stage), followed by the development of an innovative mechanism (Design Stage) and the implementation of this mechanism (Implementation Stage). Finally, the implemented mechanism is evaluated by the involved actor groups (Evaluation Stage), and either prevails and gives rise to the replication of the mechanism in other areas (Learning Stage), is rearranged or refined over time (incl. if the demand/supply for ecosystem services changes), or even vanishes, thus potentially making room for a new innovation cycle.

Learning Architecture: a research infrastructure and set of activities at the interfaces of the (practical) action, policy and (scientific) knowledge sphere to guarantee the cross-fertilisation and uptake of new ideas across both the distinct innovation action cases and the different interfaces. It includes a tailor-made SINCERE participatory process that involves a series of complimentary meetings, workshops and events at different levels, and a specific set of cross-fertilisation and co-learning activities (see below). The Learning Architecture operates at different levels: within the regional innovation actions, across the regional innovation actions, across the whole consortium and with actors outside SINCERE.

MAG (Regional Multi-Actor Groups): a limited set of (mostly local) stakeholders with a firm interest in a specific IA case, who will participate in co-design, co-implementation, co-evaluation and co-learning related to this IA and the overall Learning Architecture throughout the duration of SINCERE.

Stakeholders: all types of active groups with an interest in IM and forest governance, ranging from public officials and administrations to private-sector interest groups. SINCERE distinguishes three types of stakeholders: (i) national and international (European) stakeholders, (ii) (mostly local) stakeholders linked to the IA cases; and (iii) (mostly local) stakeholders outside the IA cases with an interest in IA.

Spheres: the (practical) action, (scientific) knowledge and policy spheres. The (practical) action sphere refers to the innovation actions and practitioners (forest owners, managers, enterprises, NGOs) implementing the actions within SINCERE and beyond; the Policy sphere refers to policymakers and policymaking; the (scientific) knowledge sphere refers to research and the research community.

SINCERE Bridges: part of the cross-fertilisation and co-learning activities under the Learning Architecture. Bridges connect the critical interfaces amongst the (scientific) knowledge, the (practical) action and the policy sphere for one or more innovation actions by enabling a structured exchange process of practitioners, researchers and policymakers.

They fund visits, small workshops and limited stays of experts that connect the three spheres, and are assigned under a competitive call that is also open for participants from outside the SINCERE consortium.

SINCERE Innovation Tandems: connections for SINCERE’s innovation actions across Europe, which can also involve innovation actions outside SINCERE or external stakeholders with an interest in SINCERE’s innovation actions. Similar to the Bridges (above), they will fund all types of knowledge-exchange processes. Yet, unlike the Bridges, they connect across innovation actions cases, and not primarily across the different spheres.

SINCERE Talks: a series of talks in which selected keynote speakers (philosophers, scientists from the humanities, or environmentalists) are invited to engage in critical reflections regarding IM at the occasion of SINCERE consortium events.

SynPol Event: (SYNthesising results and delivering POLicy recommendations): a European level event that brings together practitioners, scientists and policymakers (from all levels) to interpret project findings and derive joint policy-related recommendations for EU forest-related policies.