Why is Trustee important ?

Thematic challenges  — Methodological challengesEuropean and interdisciplinary challenges

  • Thematic challenges 

National and international assessments show that ecosystems are and often continue to be degraded; therefore, ecosystem services and public goods are now considered a part of policy and have become increasingly important within the European context. In the same time, rural economies have undergone several changes over past decades. Drivers and preconditions of a sustainable socio-economic development of those highly complex systems are still little understood.

TRUSTEE takes up many of the research challenges presented by the question : how to mobilize the rural potential to produce the balanced regional development linking economic growth and ecosystem services ?

  • Methodological challenges 

In order to overcome the lake of holistic, interdisciplinary research that responds to the joint challenge of creating economic development and ecosystem services in rural areas, TRUSTEE will provide analytical tools that explicitly integrate :
› market and policy drivers of economic development,
› land use decisions,
› local decision processes,
› and ecosystem services.

We believe these tools can both explicitly assess the relative importance of natural amenities for rural development, and account for the scale mismatch between ecosystem services and economic activities, particularly since mismatch can lead to feedback failure (i.e., gains emerge at one scale but costs are incurred at another).

  • European and interdisciplinary challenges 

While research on rural areas is mostly carried out at a national level and remains fragmented, TRUSTEE project focus on improving European cooperation during pan-European policy impact analyses of rural development and ecosystem services. It provides an opportunity for merging and harmonizing some of the major datasets at the EU level.

The TRUSTEE interdisciplinary approach aims to forge alliances across various disciplines (spatial economics, economics of land use, geography, ecology, agronomy) so as to address the three major challenges for the European public policy: Rural development, land use, and ecosystem services.