General presentation

Population and production locations, commodities, and flow of people are critical components of the relationship between economic development and ecosystem services. Such a relationship has three major unresolved questions:

  • Does an optimal spatial organisation of activities, leading to rural economic development while ensuring the provision of ecosystem services, exist?
  • How does one combine market mechanisms and policies to reach sustainable spatial allocation of activities?
  • Under which conditions do ecosystem services constitute opportunities for rural development?

The trade-off/synergy dilemma between economic development and ecosystem services is one of the major issues of sustainable rural development.

The main research objective of TRUSTEE is to disentangle the complex relationships between economic development and ecosystem services at different spatial scales using an interdisciplinary approach that involve scientists, experts, and stakeholders. The sub-objectives are:

  • Analyse the multi-scaled determinants of economic development and ecosystem services on a large European gradient of rural and rural/urban areas.
  • Increase our understanding of how to achieve mutual benefits for economic development in rural areas and ecosystem services.
  • Identify and assess the governance mechanisms and policy instruments that enhance sustainable rural vitality in very diverse contexts.
  • Produce synergies among international researchers of varied disciplines and between researchers and various stakeholders at different governance scales.