Integrated planning tool developed within the project aims on helping to make decisions for sustainable grassland management by strengthening linkages between social, economic, environmental, agricultural fields and policies. The tool works on GIS (geographic information system) based environment and incorporates ecosystem services as well as socio-economic parameters.
Project team have already made the first logical framework of the tool, they also have finalized ecosystem service assessment for demo case areas and included gathered data into the tool. The tool is now capable to calculate ecosystem services trade-offs depending on land use changes (see the picture bellow).
Now we are working on developing and programming several examples of DMS’es (Decision Making Systems) for the tool. So called DMS’es provide aggregated information on institutions dealing with grassland management issues. It covers analysis processes and problematic that an institution faces when making decisions related to grassland management. Steps how the Tool can contribute to finding easier and more effective solutions to tackle the problem are identified and required data inputs described.
For example, few DMS’es could provide management prioritization of grassland plots, considering physical and socio-economic multi-criteria analysis. The results gained could be used in several ways: 1) this information would let protected area managers decide how to distribute their financial and human resources in managing the most important grasslands; 2) municipality specialists could use this information when deciding which Giant Hogweed plots should be managed first. Such and other examples of DMS’es are now being developed and results would be present at the end of the project. It is foreseen that the users of the tool will have the opportunity to develop their own ways of tackling grassland management problems and use the tool generated results in their work. Therefore a capacity building programme and lectures will be organized and a tool manual will be developed so that the future users of the tool would be able to work with it on their own.
It is foreseen that the tool will be accessible for the general public and for various professional users, such as: protected areas managers, municipality specialists, spatial and regional planners, farmers, specialists from Ministries of Environment and Agriculture. General public will be able to see pre-calculated results of the tool, while specialists will have an option to work with different data sets and layers, analyze them and produce their own results, which will help them on making decisions on sustainable grassland management in the field they are working in.