With respect to Eco-innovation & Eco-efficiency new indicators setting, the project is unique in that it investigated not only ecological vulnerability has been taken into account for the
Biodiversity monitoring, but also socioeconomic and cultural-spiritual vulnerability. Four cases in and around lakes and rivers in Vietnam, Costa Rica, South Africa and India were selected.
To combine cultural, politic and scientific knowledge, an extensive data analysing process has been carried out to create a user-friendly GIS map for geomatic monitoring, under the coordination of the Linköping University located in Sweden. This project has been funded by the FP7-ENV Call and its duration has been of three years, starting on 1st February 2009 and ending on 31st January 2012.
The project has two main promising results: 1) an interactive GIS map of the four countries which contains not only scientific data, but also data which have been compiled by interviewing the local population and 2) governance and policy recommendations. This research is used to create new projects and development plans. According to the dissemination of information, it is remarkable to mention that 15 MSc theses have been completed within this project.
The first phase of the project involved an assessment of existing conditions in the case areas, including cultural and governance systems. The second phase focused on identifying and quantifying different forms of vulnerability (ecological, socioeconomic and cultural-spiritual) and the interactions between them. The third phase involved the construction of the GIS database and maps showing the type and distribution of the different forms of vulnerability as well as physical and administrative attributes of the case The fourth and final phase involved the construction of scenarios for each case area, and the formulation of policy recommendations.
The tool is available, thus it can be considered a 9 value in the TRL scale, although it needs permissions to be asked at the JRC (Joint research Centre) for the use of some data. The methodology employed to develop this tool could be used in other regions. Policy makers, local NGO´s, local people are the main target groups of the results obtained in this project. The LD team continue to forge alliances with their case communities in order to formulate new projects that build upon the obtained results. These take into account both livelihoods and biodiversity, and address the major challenges facing the communities, which include a lack of capital for small-scale, community-based investments, insufficient knowledge of new agricultural methods and ways of marketing handicrafts, and the question of training local people as ecotourism guides.