on Knowledge-Policy Interface for Biodiversity Governance
reverse the ongoing loss of biological diversity, a consistently
improved dialogue between science, public and decision-making is
necessary. To identify needs and gaps of existing mechanisms and
to discuss new options, a group of international experts met at
the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany.
This group of highly experienced scientists, practitioners, and
representatives of national and international institutions as much
as of civil society organisations agreed on recommendations to improve
the interface between bearers of knowledge and policy-actors.
recommendations contribute to ongoing debates about how to identify
the optimal niche and conditions for the creation of an independent
and effective scientific advisory body. The workshop, supported
by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, DG research, DG environment,
the German Agency for nature conservation, and the UFZ, recommends
that such a body should include not only science, but all relevant
knowledge, and therefore calls its proposal a "knowledge-policy
interface". Such knowledge-policy interface is essential to
support more effective biodiversity-related decision making and
societal responses to the challenges of achieving sustainable development.
the last years, a variety of conventions and other measures have
been agreed at the international as much as on other levels to stop
the loss of biodiversity. However, there is broad consensus that
all these measures have not been able to reverse this trend. Biodiversity
change is a very complex cross-cutting issue which is dealt with
in a broad variety of institutions directly or indirectly, up from
the local to the global level. Therefore, relevant knowledge is
very diverse and, as has been emphasised at the workshop, includes
scientific as well as traditional knowledge. Also due to this diversity,
models of science-policy interfaces working effectively e.g. for
climate issues (such as the IPPC) cannot be transferred directly
to the field of biodiversity.
becomes more and more urgent to know how to improve existing measures
and their implementation. Politicians as much as scientists, thus,
emphasise the need to improve the science-policy interface in biodiversity.
In early 2005, a large conference in Paris, launched by the French
President Jacques Chirac, started an international negotiation process
to create an International Mechanism on Expertise on Biodiversity
(IMoSEB). Until June 2007, an ongoing consultative process discusses
the needs and options for a new mechanism. The Leipzig Recommendations
constitute a major milestone in these consultations by highlighting
the specifics of such a mechanism with regard to its mandate, internal
process as well as its outputs and outcomes.
of Protected Areas” A Master-of-Science Programme of the Klagenfurt
Klagenfurt University, Austria, launched a new international postgraduate
master programme dealing with the inter- and transdisciplinary issues
of establishing and managing Protected Areas. The focus is on all
aspects of establishing and managing Protected Areas such as national
parks, Natura 2000 sites, state parks, RAMSAR sites. The programme
includes the ecological, managerial, legal, institutional, economic,
cultural and social dimensions of protected areas, and is set up
in cooperation with international bodies such as CBD (Convention
on Biological Diversity), IUCN (World Conservation Union), WWF,
Ramsar convention, PanParks, EuroParks, and prominent Protected
Areas in Europe.
learning goals are:
excellent and comprehensive understanding of the aims and roles
of Protected Areas in relation to the conservation of biodiversity
and (integrated) regional development.
knowledge when applying the full range of tools available for
the management of Protected Areas so that they can effectively
fulfil their aims.
an ability to analyse and solve problems encountered when establishing,
planning and managing Protected Areas, to conduct inter- and transdisciplinary
dialogues with all stakeholders and to develop and implement appropriate
development of hard and soft skills to create mutual benefits
of nature conservation on the one hand, and for the local population
on the other hand, particularly in peripheral regions as well
as in developing countries with the aim of sustainable regional
programme currently involves 20 students from countries such as
Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Malta, Armenia, Nepal and Latvia.
The next class starts in September 2007 – duration of the programme
is 4 semesters, closing with a Master of Science in Management of
are available for students from developing countries and from low-income
countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The deadline for developing
countries students applying for admission to the programme and for
scholarships is 1 December 2006. The general deadline for all other
applications is 30 June 2007.
M.Sc. Programme “Management of Protected Areas”
Prof. Dr. Michael Getzner, Department of Economics Klagenfurt University,
Austria, A-9020 Klagenfurt
Planet U: Sustaining
the World, Reinventing the University
Michael M'Gonigle and Justine Starke. New Society Publishers, 2006.
U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University explores the
unique nature of the university as a vehicle for becoming an integrated
model of place-based sustainability. Each university is different,
but each has attributes that no other institution has, collectively
equipping these places with an unparalleled potential for ecological
innovation and ability to drive regional sustainability. The historical
role of the university as a site and catalyst of social critique
and change is evolving, and Planet U addresses the university as
the object of change as well as the agent of change. Touching on
everything from the development of complete campus communities to
food security programs to innovative transportation systems, M'Gonigle
and Starke weave together a series of best practices and examples
from around the world. Alongside this comprehensive survey of the
sustainable campuses movement is a narrative focus of the authors'
struggle at the University of Victoria to catalyse complete community
at their university. Planet U puts forth a place-based strategy
to integrate everything from the development of green buildings
to local reinvestment strategies to governance structures into an
integrated approach for university sustainability.
Planet U includes both a discussion of technical possibilities and
one that addresses the underlying power issues necessary for "ecological
governance." Universities must engage in democratic reform of their
governance structures to enable the high degree of ecological innovation
that they are capable of. Planet U provides the movement with the
inspiration to begin addressing this too-often overlooked aspect
of sustainability. Planet U is of interest to a wide audience --
environmentalists anf student activists, academics and administrators,
business people and politicians, and to anyone concerned with how
we can think our way out of the ever-escalating crises of global
sustainability, and how we can act right now. To sustain the world,
we must reinvent the university, one place at a time.
M'Gonigle holds the Eco Research Chair in Environmental Law and
Policy at the University of Victoria and is the founder of the POLIS
Project on Ecological Governance.
Justine Starke has recently completed a Master in Arts in Planning
at the University of British Columbia's School of Community and
more about Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University
and the Planet U movement check out: www.planetaryuniversity.org.
PhD courses in Industrial Ecology - Marie Curie programme
The Postgraduate school of Industrial Ecology (PSIE)
is a series of seven research training courses for early stage researchers
in environmental systems analysis and environmental management.
PSIE targets Ph.D. candidates, young researchers and faculty members
who work on life-cycle assessment, energy analysis, value-chain
modelling, eco-design and sustainable consumption and production.
PSIE is organized by a consortium of 12 European universities and
funded by the EU Marie Curie programme . It is supported by the
International Society of Industrial Ecology (ISIE) .
Application deadline is 1 November 2006.
For more information visit http://www.indecol.ntnu.no/psie.php