By Dr. Diana Dushkova and Prof. Maria Ignatieva
On December 17, an online webinar of the LAWN 2020 project partners was organized by Dr. Diana Dushkova, Helmholtz Center for environmental research – UFZ Leipzig, Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology; Geography Department of Humboldt University Berlin, Germany and Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva, School of Design, University of Western Australia.
The online webinar was a short reflection on the challenges of the past year related to transdisciplinary research on environmental and socio-cultural phenomena of urban lawns and their sustainable nature-based alternatives. The webinar posed as a platform to discuss the current activities (ongoing projects, initiatives, designs and publications) and to talk about the plans and possible funding for the project proposal “Lawn as a cultural and environmental global phenomenon. Searching for alternative nature-based solutions in most vulnerable times of climate change and pandemics”.
The essential part of the webinar was devoted to the discussion of opportunities for participating in European Commission Research Program “Green Deal” (2021-2027) and in particular, within the work program topic “LC-GD-7-1-2020: Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services”. In the webinar, we also discussed the ongoing renewal of the partnership between Europe, Russia, China and Australia and the impacts of the pandemic on it.
The LAWN project partners provided a short 3-5-min presentation and a personal statement on the activities and collaboration related to LAWN project proposal (research results, field survey, publications, educational activities, etc.). They highlighted the most challenges issues and new potentials for further development of mutual research.
The LAWN project partners’ cooperation started in 2019 and involved partners from such globally recognized scientific organizations as the University of Western Australia in Perth (Australia), Murdoch University in Perth (Australia), Humboldt University Berlin (Germany), Helmholtz Center for environmental research – UFZ Leipzig (Germany), People Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems (Russia), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala (Sweden), Research Centre for Human Adaptation in the Arctic (Russia), Erfurt University of applied sciences (Germany), Universidade do Porto (Portugal). The research activities within this network provide an opportunity to address not only social-cultural and environmental aspects of urban biodiversity and design but also the issues of sustainability, resilience and potentials for nature-based solutions in different geographical, environmental, political, economic and social contexts.
The current pandemic poses even more challenges and questions to urban living. Which ecosystem services lawn can provide in different climatic conditions and under anthropogenic stresses particularly during pandemics? How the inter- and transdisciplinary research approach can contribute to sustainable urban green infrastructure and its resilience in most vulnerable times of climate change and pandemics? In these challenging times, urban green open spaces covered by lawns will be increasingly used by the urban population. Lawns will be seen as an important source and part of nature close to people’s homes. It will demand a search for new alternative socio-cultural and ecological pathways for shifting lawns into more diverse and locally adapted nature-based solutions thus more resistant urban ecosystems. How to increase coherence between the different external and internal funding instruments by taking a more holistic approach? This webinar has addressed these questions. We particularly search for new scientific instruments and a new partnership between the continents in terms of restoration capacities, resilience and sustainability.
Participants of the webinar:
- Dr. Marcus Hedblom, Mrs. Tuula Eriksson, Mr. Fredrik Eriksson – Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – SLU, Department of Urban and Rural development, Sweden
- Dr. Sonja Knapp, Helmholtz Center for environmental research – UFZ Halle, Department Community Ecology, Germany
- Dr. Viacheslav Vasenev, Dr. Anastasia Konstantinova, Dr. Elvira Dovletyarova (Department of Landscape design and sustainable ecosystems, People friendship university of Russia (RUDN University), Russia
- Mrs. Tatiana Mingaleva, PhD Student Andrey Goryachev, Dr. Mariya Korneykova – Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems (Federal Research Center – Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences), Russia
- Dr. Oksana Gontar, Dr. Vladimir Megorsky – Research Centre for Human Adaptation in the Arctic (Federal Research Center – Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences), Russia
- Dr. Fengping Yang – Southwest University in Chongqing, China