Creating an open dialogue between scientists and policy makers has been recognized as a crucial aspect of effectively integrating scientific findings into relevant policy fields. Ecologic Institute, together with Oxford University and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC), organized a one day event dedicated to exploring this topic within the BioFresh project’s annual meeting in Machern, Germany. Amongst the speakers were Ecologic Institute’s Timo Kaphengst, Ulf Stein and Dr. Eleftheria Kampa. The presentation slides are available for download.
One central aim of the BioFresh project is to foster communication with policy-relevant stakeholders and produce dissemination material that will distill the key project outcomes and conclusions for relevant policy areas (e.g. biodiversity, water and agricultural policy). Given the importance of horizontal networking, coordination and partnership between European biodiversity and water projects for effective policy impact, external guests from parallel EU projects were invited to participate in the event.
Timo Kaphengst, Ulf Stein and Dr. Eleftheria Kampa were concentrating on the following aspects:
- Timo Kaphengst, who also moderated a portion of the day’s discussions, opened the strategic portion of the event and outlined the BioFresh science-policy interface.
- Ulf Stein from WaterDiss argued for the need of a greater recognition of the importance and opportunities to link biodiversity science-policy communication with those of wider water science community and offered ideas for linking this project with BioFresh activities.
- Dr. Eleftheria Kampa presented REFORM, an EU river restoration project. Given the focus of REFORM on pressures existing for river ecosystems and BioFresh’s investigation of how those pressures affect the life living in them, Eleftheria Kampa argued for the large scope for potential cooperation between these projects.
The last session of the day took the form of a lively discussion and aimed to develop ideas for a water and biodiversity symposium, planned for January 2014. The symposium intends to facilitate communication and interaction between scientists and policy-makers, as well as NGOs, industry representatives and other relevant stakeholders.