SELECTED RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Assessing benefits and costs of investments in flood protection
Investments in dykes may be economically attractive for reducing risk in large parts of the world, but not everywhere. This is concluded in an article in Nature Climate Change to which several IVM researchers contributed. The authors present a framework for assessing costs and benefits of structural flood protection measures in urban areas around the world. They demonstrate its use under different assumptions of current and future climate change and socio-economic development.
The role of weather and climate risk insurance in preventing damage
IVM, together with Ramboll, was contracted by the European Commission (DG CLIMA) to conduct a study on the insurance of weather and climate-related disaster risk, and to create an inventory and analysis of mechanisms to support damage prevention in the EU. Existing insurance schemes were studied in 12 Member States. The results show that these schemes generally provide insurance at affordable rates, but do not perform very well in terms of providing incentives for risk reduction or signalling the risk. The authors present a number of recommendations to improve this delicate balance.
What makes landscapes attractive for outdoor recreationists?
Outdoor recreation outside urban areas has been steadily growing over the last decades. This development opened up new opportunities, but also posed pressing challenges for landscape management. Effective landscape management to use new opportunities while addressing upcoming challenges requires a better understanding of what makes landscapes attractive for outdoor recreationists. IVM researchers quantified landscapes’ outdoor recreation potential using five different recreation user groups in the European Union.
Mapping the institutional landscape of biodiversity governance
Mapping the institutional landscape of In a recent publication commissioned by the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), IVM researchers explore biodiversity governance beyond the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The report analyses how biodiversity is governed through a broad variety of international and transnational institutions beyond the multilateral agreements ratified under the CBD. The researchers identify 108 institutions across the issue areas of climate change, agriculture, energy, fisheries and forestry focusing on biodiversity governance. They comprise public and private actors, primarily engaging in standard setting and information sharing. The report also looks at the institutionalization of transnational biodiversity institutions, by assessing their commitments to monitoring, reporting and verification.
On 5 October, the learning quiz ‘EQA - the green scholar game’ was launched. EQA is a learning quiz that can be downloaded as an android app (https://goo.gl/VPU6Zb) or played online (http://www.greenscholar.eu/). The questions in the quiz are related to environmental issues, paying special attention to water, climate, economy and ecosystems, drawing upon the research conducted by IVM scientists, whose works are cited in every question. EQA aims to promote environmental education and increase the collaboration within the IVM and across other departments in a creative and innovative manner, engaging both students and researchers.