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

Europe’s ecosystem research network


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ALTER-Net Conference 2013: Science underpinning the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy

Together with the European Commission, ALTER-Net is proud to host a major conference on science to support the European Union’s Biodiversity Strategy.


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Conference banner 850 px

Courtyard. Photo: Allan Watt Group at the conference 1. Photo: Allan Watt

Group at the conference 2 (Alumni). Photo: Allan Watt

Conference 2013: Panel discussion. Photo: Erika van den Bergh, INBO
Photos: Top 3 - Allan Watt; Bottom - Erika Van den Bergh


15-18 April 2013


Augustinian Monastery, Academiestraat 1,
Ghent, Belgium

All enquiries:

Conference 2013 flyer imageMaurice Hoffmann
INBO, Belgium
Email: [email protected]

Download flyer... [PDF]



The primary focus of the conference was the objectives and targets of the EU's 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, which should be realized by the end of this decade. Being a science-policy interface network, ALTER-Net wants to help the EU in realizing these targets by providing scientific knowledge, e.g. by pointing out possible weaknesses, opportunities and necessities, and by helping to find solutions and evidence-based actions.

The starting point for the conference was statements and accompanying questions for every target. These were prepared jointly by ALTER-Net and EU representatives. In this way, active participation of scientists and EU policymakers was ensured. These statements can be found here.

The programme of the 4-day conference featured half-day sessions on each EU target and included a mix of oral presentations and workshops. The workshops aimed to result in workable suggestions to EU policymakers.

During the conference it was possible for individuals to present relevant work through poster presentations.

Several side events took place, e.g. a Summer School Alumni event, a full-day workshop on 'Ecosystem services at the interface between supply and demand', a workshop on ALTER-Net multi-site experiments and a meeting to exchange ideas for new ALTER-Net initiatives.

Additionally, other European initiatives on Biodiversity knowledge gathering were given the floor, e.g. LTER-Europe, ENV Europe and BiodiversityKnowledge (KNEU).


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...