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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

OpenNESS presented at symposium on scientific horizons for biodiversity and water policy

On 29 and 30 January 2014, the EU FP7 projects BioFresh and REFRESH organized the science policy symposium for freshwater life "Water Lives: scientific horizons for biodiversity and water policy" in Brussels. The aim was to bring together policymakers and stakeholders from the water, energy and conservation sectors, NGOs, the scientific community and selected experts, to discuss challenges in implementation of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and to agree on recommendations for policymaking and future research.

One of our partners, Dr Laurence Carvalho from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), presented the OpenNESS project in the working group on meeting the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets for freshwater life. He talked specifically about the Loch Leven freshwater case study: From Nutrient Limitation to Recreation: Putting Ecology into Ecosystem Service Mapping (download his presentation).

Anne Teller from the European Commission's DG Environment gave a policy response to the presentation. The discussion following from that made clear that the links between EU research projects such as BioFresh, REFRESH, OpenNESS and MARS, a new large EU research project, are highly important. DG Environment is planning to undertake a review of the WFD and one of their priorities is making its target of “good ecological status” more explicitly relevant to society.

Dr Carvalho concluded that an ecosystem approach and specifically the operationalization of ecosystem services is critical as it is important for the public to see the benefits of the big investments in restoration that the WFD requires. Furthermore, he sees the WFD as an important vehicle for delivering the targets for freshwater biodiversity and freshwater services in the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. So it should be a win-win situation for both policy arenas.

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Photo: © Ogarit Uhlmann