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DFG and NSFC fund German-Chinese project on ecosystem services

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The joint application from ZALF and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has been approved for funding by the Mobility Programme of the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (SGC). The Programme is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC.

The aim of the new Sino-German project is to develop a coordinated, efficient and sustainable management and financing mechanism for ecosystem services considering the contexts in Germany and China.

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) in Germany and eco-compensation in China face many similar challenges (e.g. insufficient funding, environmental effectiveness and social equity) in creating management mechanism for behavioral change. In both countries, the market-based approaches are still under development, sharing the same constrains of over-relying on governmental payments. In Germany, many attentions have been paid to the management of human behavior through “soft” incentive-based measures combining with participatory management and collaborative decision making. In China, while the eco-compensation is predominantly relying on governmental financing and hierarchy structure, some recent innovative projects showed the promising potentials of digitally-driven approaches in facilitating alternative fund generating and wide participation. In order to study those key innovative components, this project will focus on the contract-based (e.g. result-based, cooperative) and digitally-driven approaches, collaborating with different actors (state and private and civil sectors) to deliver valuable ecosystem services.

The ZALF working group of “Governance of Ecosystem Services” will coordinate the German side of the mobility program, while Leibniz University Hannover and Humboldt University of Berlin will make important contributions. The IGSNRR will coordinate the Chinese side, together with Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning and South China Agricultural University.

The project is financed for three years between 01.01.2021-31.12.2023.



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