An integrated Approach for Preserving Natural Resources

The overall goal of the Prediction of the Impact of Climate Change and Urban Sprawl on ECOsystem Services (PRECOS) project is to help local actors to preserve natural resources, land, water and minimise their exposure to risk. Climate pressure, urban sprawl and massive resource demand for economic development will affect territory’s assets. It will especially degrade water and soil, leading to heightened risks and cost of services and production.

The climate change issue

The world’s population is growing and so is the demand for resources. However, these resources will not last forever. A balance must be found between the use of resources for meeting today’s needs and their preservation to safeguard those of tomorrow. Indeed, while it is widely accepted that climate change will affect our life and environment it is often not clear to local actors what to do about it.

PRECOS endeavours to bridge the gap between short-term management decisions and climate related impacts, allowing for dynamic adaptations and corrective measures.

The project solution

PRECOS offers a synthesized vision of territories by monitoring what happens to resources under mounting climate and anthropogenic pressures. It points out especially the risks of reaching “tipping points”, in other words the level beyond which resilience is no more possible.

By bringing to the fore the cost of climate and unsustainable resource consumption practices for the economy, PRECOS facilitates the adoption of climate friendly decisions based on shared interest and immediate tangible returns. It offers a novel integrated way of providing information to stakeholders. It shows them where, why and how it is in their interest to take action to prevent irreversible damage to local resources.

The PRECOS prototype has the following functionalities:
• It aggregates heterogeneous information and models on water quality, soil, crops, urban sprawl and climate change
• It monitors them in real time
• It keeps track of cumulated impacts of existing developments as time goes by and tests the consequences of those envisaged through predicted scenarios

In the PRECOS pathfinder, three case studies in Ile de France, Berlin and Emilia Romagna, will investigate prototype viability and effectiveness and the results will be measured against the success of existing models. The prototype is currently being strengthened, their potential for generating added-value and end-user services explored to determine how to cater in the most cost effective way, to the needs of global market.

The role of Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC, provided access to an invaluable network of partners and enabled an extensive exchange of expertise and ideas. It has given a “push” to the project that can make all the difference to the project. The Climate-KIC network will help demonstrating the viability and pertinence of holistic approaches, and how triggering resource sparing services will help territories unlock innovation around resource optimisation and risk minimisation so as to make a successful transition towards the quaternary economy in an increasingly resource scarce economy.

“We value being a part of Climate-KIC network immensely. This is only the beginning of what we can achieve through the network!” , INRA