News

News

23 MAR 2017

Highlights from our PEGASUS annual meeting in Reggio Calabria

The PEGASUS team has just come back from its 2nd annual meeting of the project, kindly organised by CREA and held in Calabria (Italy), home to one of our four Italian case studies. 

Case study leads from the different PEGASUS teams presented the emerging results and findings of 12 in-depth case studies, which range from establishing a mountain wood label and supply chain in Slovenia, to improving the sustainability of the intensive tomato production in Italy, to enhancing good farming practices in the Volvic water catchment through a public-private partnership in France. 

Invited to attend the meeting, the members of the PEGASUS expert advisory board – external experts involved to give us guidance and recommendations – provided useful comments throughout the discussions. Amongst the topics we agreed should be investigated further, the issue of trust/cooperation between local actors, which was found to be a critical factor in all of the 12 in-depth case studies. Data issues, establishing causality between actions and results, and the importance for actors to be able to use public and private mechanisms in combination were also identified as key topics. 

The group went on a field trip across Calabria to visit two sites of bergamot production, a citrus fruit whose essential oil is used in the food and drink and the perfume and fragrance industries. About 95% of the world bergamot is produced in a narrow stretch of land in Calabria, in the south of Italy, where a specific micro-climate, with marked seasons and little temperature difference between day and night, provides bergamot trees with the unique conditions they require. The origins of bergamot are unclear: bergamot is believed to be either a naturally occurring genetic mutation of bitter orange trees or a hybrid species from a crossing between lime and bitter orange. Bergamot fruits (like all citrus) contain an essential oil whose function, in the natural environment, is to protect the fruit against flies and other insects. Bergamot essential oil is famous for its use in perfumes – it is one of the key components of Kölnisch Wasser (Eau de Cologne) invented in the 18th century - and as a flavouring agent in food and drinks such as in Earl Grey tea, a recipe which dates back from the 19th century.

The first site the PEGASUS group went to see was one of the largest processors and exporters of essential oil of Calabria, where the 5th generation owner explained us the full range of their operations, from harvest collection, selection of essential oils, to sales to multinationals of the food and perfumes industries. At the second site, we found out all about the parallel and more recent organic supply chain which supplies a smaller number of customers and has been growing steadily. Producing bergamot is often not the core business of Calabrian farmers but it is critical in generating some additional income to the population of this economically struggling region.

In the next months, the PEGASUS team will be busy analysing these case study results further and will test emerging conclusions with stakeholders in different countries and at EU level around May and June 2017.

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01 NOV 2016

Second PEGASUS newsletter - October 2016

The second newsletter of the PEGASUS project is now out!


We are now at the half way point for the PEGASUS project and are well underway with our action research activities. This second issue of the PEGASUS newsletter sets out some of the emerging findings from our 34 case studies, carried out in 10 countries from March to June 2016. It highlights the varied policy, market and governance settings that are in place and looks at what factors have contributed to successful outcomes. By ‘success’, we mean the delivery of environmental and social benefits from agriculture and forestry in the EU - the core ambition of the PEGASUS project.


Follow this link to read the second PEGASUS newsletter and find information on:
- The PEGASUS case studies
- The influence of market, socio-cultural, institutional and policy drivers in our case studies
- The latest news on the PEGASUS website
- The next steps for the project
- How to get involved

If you want to subscribe to future PEGASUS newsletters, sign up by sending a request and your email to pegasus@ieep.eu.

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09 SEP 2016

PEGASUS case studies: first results now available

The first phase of the PEGASUS case study work is now complete! Between March and July 2016, our ten PEGASUS teams carried out 34 case studies in ten countries across the EU.


They provide a rich source of information on the different ways in which farm and forest land is managed to deliver environmental and social outcomes in a range of diverse situations – from intensive tomato production in Italy to extensive beef production in Estonia to avoiding abandonment in mountainous areas of Slovenia to forest restoration in Czech Republic. The preliminary results of this work were subject to many lively discussions at a 3-day meeting in Estonia at the end of June.


PEGASUS partners explored the issues faced in ensuring the effective provision of environmental and social benefits in different contexts (different ‘social-ecological systems’), by local stakeholders. We compared the nature and characteristics of the solutions that have enabled local actors to overcome blocking factors and develop successful projects – which either enhance the provision of environmental and social benefits from farming and forestry or reduce the occurrence of damaging practices.


The PEGASUS group visited the Lahe Maamees beef farm located on semi-natural grassland in Lääne-Viru County. The farm manages its land sustainably to ensure the conservation of the biodiversity rich habitat on which it is located. In addition to CAP Pillar 2 support, the farm attracts a price premium for the high quality of its beef meat which it sells to top chefs in Switzerland. Alongside the environmental benefits associated with the approach, agricultural activities are essential in this rural region of Estonia – as in many others – where depopulation is threatening the continuation of local basic public services. In these areas, agriculture and forestry are essential sectors able to provide jobs. Appropriate support to these sectors can have highly positive impacts both from an environmental and a social perspective.


A selection of these case studies will be pursued in more depth in the coming months as September marks the kick-off of the second phase of the work. To this end, the PEGASUS teams have all selected one case study to be examined into more depth during the autumn. Meanwhile, a series of factsheets has been published on the PEGASUS website to present the main findings of the work undertaken so far. You will also find our report synthesising the first phase of the case studies on the website in due course.

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23 MAY 2016

PEGASUS newsletter - May 2016

The first newsletter of the PEGASUS project was launched this week! It provides information on the project’s progress in its first year and some of the emerging findings to enable a greater provision of public goods and ecosystem services from different farming and forestry systems in the EU.

For this first issue of the PEGASUS newsletter, we explain how we have developed the analytical framework for the project, taking a multi-disciplinary approach to applying existing theories and concepts, and how this will be complemented by findings from a mapping exercise of the provision of public goods and ecosystem services and an analysis of the drivers influencing the provision of environmental and social benefits. The analytical framework is currently being used and tested by project teams in ten EU countries in their field work as part of the 34 farming and forestry case studies of the project.

Following this link to read the first PEGASUS newsletter and:
- Find out what PEGASUS is all about;
- Read about the latest developments of the project;
- Hear about the emerging findings.

If you want to subscribe to future PEGASUS newsletters, sign up by sending a request and your email to pegasus@ieep.eu.

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22 FEB 2016

1st annual PEGASUS Steering Group meeting in Évora

All PEGASUS partners gathered in Évora, Portugal on 26-27 January 2016 for our first annual PEGASUS Steering Group meetingAll PEGASUS partners gathered in Évora, Portugal on 26-27 January 2016 for our first annual PEGASUS Steering Group meeting followed by a field visit to the nearby area of ‘montado’, one of the project case studies. We were joined by four of the seven members of the PEGASUS Expert Advisory Board (Jussi Lankoski from the OECD, Monia Martini from WWF Romania, Liisa Pietola from Copa-Cogeca and Lukas Visek from DG AGRI) who provided valuable insights and guidance on the work carried out to date, which will help steer the direction and focus of the research going forward.

The meeting, kindly hosted by the University of Évora, marked the completion of Work Package 1 (WP1) on theories and concepts and the kick-off of preparations for the 32 case studies to be carried out across the EU from March 2016.

The meeting included a field visit to a nearby area of montado, which will feature as one of the case studies in Portugal. Montado agro-forestry systems are a traditional way of managing the land in southern Portugal, combining either cork or holm oaks with grazing by black pigs, sheep or cattle. The PEGASUS team learned that this traditional system is associated with a large range of environmental and social benefits but is in decline in the region for a number of reasons, one of which is high grazing pressure from cattle in particular, largely driven by high levels of coupled support, which has impeded the system’s regeneration over the years.

The Steering Group meeting was followed by a 2-day training session on participatory methods to be used during the case studies by all ten PEGASUS case study teams. Engaging with stakeholders and experts in montado systems, discussions focused on interactive methods to identify what drivers have led to the current issues facing montado habitats and some of the ways these could be resolved. Ideas discussed included re-thinking the objectives of policies affecting these systems, marketing speciality products such as cork, and improved scientific research and knowledge – including, for example, detailed mapping – to inform and support the necessary changes and maintain the economic, environmental and social viability of the system.

The 32 PEGASUS case studies will start in March to develop innovative and participatory approaches to enhance the provision of environmental and social benefits from farming and forestry and reduce the occurrence of damaging practices. The initial findings of the case studies will be discussed at a workshop set to take place in the summer in Tallinn, Estonia.
. We were joined by four of the seven members of the PEGASUS Expert Advisory Board (Jussi Lankoski from the OECD, Monia Martini from WWF Romania, Liisa Pietola from Copa-Cogeca and Lukas Visek from DG AGRI) who provided valuable insights and guidance on the work carried out to date, which will help steer the direction and focus of the research going forward.

The meeting, kindly hosted by the University of Évora, marked the completion of Work Package 1 (WP1) on theories and concepts and the kick-off of preparations for the 32 case studies to be carried out across the EU from March 2016.

The meeting included a field visit to a nearby area of montado, which will feature as one of the case studies in Portugal. Montado agro-forestry systems are a traditional way of managing the land in southern Portugal, combining either cork or holm oaks with grazing by black pigs, sheep or cattle. The PEGASUS team learned that this traditional system is associated with a large range of environmental and social benefits but is in decline in the region for a number of reasons, one of which is high grazing pressure from cattle in particular, largely driven by high levels of coupled support, which has impeded the system’s regeneration over the years.

The Steering Group meeting was followed by a 2-day training session on participatory methods to be used during the case studies by all ten PEGASUS case study teams. Engaging with stakeholders and experts in montado systems, discussions focused on interactive methods to identify what drivers have led to the current issues facing montado habitats and some of the ways these could be resolved. Ideas discussed included re-thinking the objectives of policies affecting these systems, marketing speciality products such as cork, and improved scientific research and knowledge – including, for example, detailed mapping – to inform and support the necessary changes and maintain the economic, environmental and social viability of the system.

The 32 PEGASUS case studies will start in March to develop innovative and participatory approaches to enhance the provision of environmental and social benefits from farming and forestry and reduce the occurrence of damaging practices. The initial findings of the case studies will be discussed at a workshop set to take place in the summer in Tallinn, Estonia.

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09 OCT 2015

PEGASUS national workshops completed

The PEGASUS project has gained invaluable insights on how to achieve greater environmental and social benefits from farming and forestry, the political and practical factors that can drive or block their provision, as well as examples of innovative practices through our 10 national workshops over the past few weeks.

The 10 national workshops have brought together experts working in research, NGOs and managing authorities at different levels as well as many practical actors who every day take crucial land management decisions. This marks a great start in building an expert community to be actively involved throughout the study.

The national workshops provided us with the opportunity to test our theoretical and conceptual framework, to review the environmental and social benefits the project will look at, to showcase some of the innovative activities currently in place and ideas for the future, as well as advance our understanding of the political and practical factors that can impact the delivery of such benefits in 10 different national situations.
Concrete examples of how environmental and social benefits are being provided alongside food or timber or energy and the challenges faced were set out by local actors from the farming and forestry sectors. Some of these are likely to be used as case studies in 2016. In some workshops, the public appreciation of environmental and social benefits was also discussed, looking at different ‘valorisation’ mechanisms, demonstrating that society values public goods and ecosystem services that are being delivered by land and nature.

The reports from the 10 national workshops will be published on the website in the Resources section in the course of October while the next PEGASUS deliverable will aim at pulling these strands together to provide a methodological foundation for the case studies.

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07 JUL 2015

Expert Workshop: Dijon

The Dijon expert workshop, hosted by INRA-AgroSup Dijon, brings together experts in research, policy and practice working on public goods and ecosystem services to generate debates and to explore how to bring the public goods and ecosystem services concepts into a holistic approach for agriculture and forestry.

Participants will be asked to share their experience and knowledge of these topics, to help us to refine and validate a unifying conceptual approach for the PEGASUS study that will be used to identify, classify and develop a more systems-based approach to understanding and valorising public goods and ecosystem services provided by agriculture and forestry.

Key invited speakers at the workshop include Professor Allan Buckwell, IEEP and Professor Leon Braat, Alterra Wageningen UR and Monia Martini, WWF. The discussions will seek to capture experience and knowledge from across the EU to gain new theoretical and analytical insights into how to approach the challenge of ensuring effective provision of public goods and ecosystem services from farming and forestry activities. This should help unlock more synergistic and cost-effective options for policy and practice.

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02 JUL 2015

PEGASUS Kick-off in London

14 partners from 10 EU countries came together in London on 29-30 April to mark the start of the three-year research project “Public Ecosystem Goods and Services from land management – unlocking the synergies” (PEGASUS). The PEGASUS project is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme. The kick-off was hosted by the project coordinator, IEEP.

Attendees included representatives of all 14 PEGASUS partners and of the European Commission (DG AGRI).

The PEGASUS partners are:
• IEEP (Coordinator) 

• University of Gloucestershire (UK)
• DLO Foundation (comprising LEI (Agriculture and Economics Research Institute) + Alterra (NL)
• IfLS (Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung, part of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt (DE)

• CRA-INEA – public research agency on agriculture and agricultural economics (IT)
• UZEI - Institute of Agriculture economics and information (CZ)

• JRC – Joint Research Centre – European Commission (Ispra)

• INRA –National Institute for agricultural research (FR)
• BABF- Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas (AT)

• Evora University (PT)

• Ljubljana University (SL)
• CEET - Centre for Ecological Engineering (EE)

• BirdLife Europe

• Euromontana

Through active engagement with a wide range of land managers and rural stakeholders PEGASUS will develop new ways of thinking about the way farmland and forests are managed in order to stimulate a long-lasting improvement in the provision of public goods and ecosystem services from agricultural and forest land in the EU. Over thirty case studies are planned across the EU to consider the issues and find solutions that work in a range of farming systems as well as along the supply chain. More information about the project will be available in the coming months via the project website. PEGASUS is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme.

The fruitful discussions at the kick-off meeting benefitted from the multidisciplinary nature of the PEGASUS team. Partners took this opportunity to share their experience and knowledge of the different themes to be tackled by the project. Several decisions were made by the group on the various phases of the project (the project is structured around 5 ‘Work Packages’). In general the kick off meeting successfully provided all partners with some general guidance for the undertaking of the project, with a particular focus on the first part of the research examining the conceptual framework of public goods and ecosystem services (under ‘Work Package 1’).

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