Simon Willcock, 13/11/15

Greetings from Stellenbosch, South Africa! It is the last day of the 8th Ecosystem Service Partnership conference and I am taking a quick break from the interesting talks to give you a quick update on what has been going on this week. Ecosystem Service experts from around the world have come together to focus on ‘Ecosystem Services for Nature, People and Prosperity’, paying special attention to the public and private sector dialogue on how the ecosystem services concept can be used to support conservation, improve livelihoods and engage the business community.

The Integrated Modelling collaboration has been well represented at this conference with over 10 attendees of International Spring University sessions being present – it has been great to catch up and continue our collaborations with these previous students! I have not managed to go to every talk (many run in parallel) but the Integrated Modelling platform has been featured in several of the talks here and was, of course, demonstrated in the two talks that I have given.

There has been much more focus on model accuracy and uncertainty when compared to previous conferences, which the Integrated Modelling software is well suited to address. Work is shifting towards ensemble modelling, to see how the outputs of different models compare – potential giving us more confidence in models in regions where validation data is lacking. I am definitely looking forward to continuing my work on this!

That is all for now. I have a free lunch to go to, and I NEVER miss out on a free lunch!

Watch this space as more blogs will continue to pop up.

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