The MARISCO project partners including Writtle University College works with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and WWF, Germany to develop a systematic, ecosystem-based analysis and vulnerability assessment for conservation planning in the face of climate change. Theories of ‘econics’ – the study of dynamical ecological systems with the aim of producing resource-dependent solutions for sustainable development – are combined with non-equilibrium thermodynamics and complex system theories to develop a systematic method for analysing situations and conditions, leading to the effective project planning for international environmental NGOs and conservation organisations. The project’s long-term aim is to provide the international community involved in the sustainable management of natural resources with a systematic approach to environmental vulnerability and risk analysis, together with strategies for ecosystem-based adaptive planning. The impact of the project can be measured by the successful production of a range of products including GIZ-funded activities to provide online training materials and publications in four languages on MARISCO’s science and methodology. Supported by both GIZ and BfN funding, the Centre for Econics & Ecosystem Management has successfully delivered a programme of land-use impact assessments and vulnerability analyses on behalf of various NGOs and government agencies in several countries, including Russia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Namibia, China, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Malaysia. It has also delivered professional training workshops at a number of international conferences including the 4th World Congress for Biosphere Reserves / UNESCO in Lima and the 4th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference in Rotterdam. The beneficiaries of the work include Katon-Karagay State National Park, Kazakhstan; the State Nature Biosphere Zapovednik Katunskiy, Russia; Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica; Manuel Antonia National Park, Costa Rica; and the two conservancies – George Mukoya and Muduva Nyangana, Namibia.


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