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ALTER-Net conference Recommendations Available


From Monday 15th to Thursday 18th April, over 200 scientists from 66 European research institutes and more than 25 countries, together with European policy makers, have been developing scientifically sound, evidence-based recommendations on how to implement and realize the 2020 European Biodiversity Strategy. This conference was organized by the European biodiversity research network ALTER-Net, together with the European Commission.


From over 50 recommendations, 6 final and principal ones were distilled – one for each European target. 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.

The 6 recommendations 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.

Read the full set of recommendations