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ALTER-Net: A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network

Europe’s ecosystem research network



Recommendations from the conference

Recommendations coverFrom these recommendations, 6 final and principal ones were distilled – one for each European target – and communicated immediately following the conference. They were deemed by conference participants to be the most urgent and important requirements to enable Europe to meet its biodiversity targets for 2020 and beyond. European Commission representatives agreed upon using the conference’s recommendations throughout the European policy development process.

We anticipate that these recommendations will further facilitate science-policy interaction on the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, and motivate scientists to make implementation and realization of the EU's policy goals the subject of their research. The recommendations will be presented at the EPBRS meeting in Dublin (May 2013).

The 6 recommendations (in shortened form) are:

  1. EU-target 1: Ecosystem health is the key to Natura 2000 (the EU’s network of protected areas), together with genetic health of its species; both are extremely important for human health
  2. EU-target 2: Mapping ecosystems and valuing their services is seen as beneficial in most cases, but there remains great concern about economic valuation and merchandising of biodiversity
  3. EU-target 3: Knowing which problems need standard approaches and which need targeted approaches is vital to be able to apply effective regulation and innovative, diversified solutions
  4. EU-target 4: Science is the engine to generate adaptive management tools to optimise sustainable and ecosystem-based fisheries rather than management based on a single species approach
  5. EU-target 5: Policy should aim at the broad impact of Invasive Alien Species and their interaction with native biodiversity, health and food production, rather than on details: the first challenge is to develop legal and economic instruments
  6. EU-target 6: The price of food, fibre and water should encompass both the production and maintenance cost of the ecosystem.


The EU's biodiversity objectives:

  1. Conserving and restoring nature
  2. Maintaining and enhancing ecosystems and their services
  3. Ensuring the sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  4. Combating invasive alien species
  5. Addressing the global biodiversity crisis
  6. Contributions of other environmental policies and initiatives (not dealt with during the conference)

Find the EU Biodiversity Strategy here...