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Parent project: Research action SPSD-II: Second scientific support plan for a sustainable development policy, more
Reference no: OA/03
Period: 2000 till 2004
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- Ministry of the Walloon Region; Le Centre de Recherche de la Nature, des Forêts et du Bois, more, co-ordinator
- Vlaamse overheid; Beleidsdomein Leefmilieu, Natuur en Energie; Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO), more, partner
- Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen (IRScNB/KBIN), more, partner
That scientists live and work in an ivory tower is a perception, which, unfortunately, is not entirely incorrect. Many scientists, especially those working in fundamental research, are by necessity highly specialised. However, it is fundamental that scientific research is adequately embedded in society. In order to maximise societal relevance of research, scientists need to be actively involved in the planning of both general, as well as science policy. The Biodiversity Platform supports and promotes biodiversity researchers to contribute to this goal.
The project moreover complies with a request from the European Commission to establish a national biodiversity platform as a node for the European Platform on Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS).
The former Institute for Nature Conservation was a partner in this project
The mission of the platform is:
- to promote interactions amongst scientists (both those working in universities as well as those working in other research institutions), between scientists and policy makers, and between scientists and the public with an interest in biodiversity science;
- to advise Belgian, European and regional decision makers in the field of biodiversity science policy.
- To support and promote the Belgian science community involved in biodiversity research.
- To support Belgian, European and regional science policies and to bridge the gap between biodiversity research and nature/environmental policies.
- To open up biodiversity research to the public with an interest in biodiversity science.
Assess Belgian biodiversity research
1. amongst researchers;
2. between researchers and policy makers;
3. between researchers and the public with an interest in biodiversity research.
Advise decision makers on biodiversity science policy on national, European and regional level.
Analyse the inventory of Belgian scientific research in biodiversity (BIODIV database)
Developing integrated communication tools:
- establishing a website (www.biodiversity.be/bbpf);
- organise electronic conferences about specific issues related to biodiversity;
- organise workshops, colloquia, congresses (national and international);
- develop thematic forums, which are consultative bodies between researchers and policy-makers;
- Authoring, editing of publications (newsletters, proceedings, reviews, etc…).
- Advise on the designation of research priorities.
- Participate in the development of biodiversity research policies.
- Support international conventions, institutions, meetings and reports in the field of biodiversity research policy.
Interactions between the different partners
The concerned partners work in close consultation. The assignment of tasks is adjusted in a dynamic way to the needs of the Belgian Science Policy Office, the Belgian scientific community and the EPBRS. Specific expertise and interests are taken into account while developing the platform. Cross-cutting activities are organized in consultation between the different partners.
Link with international programmes
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is the Belgian node to the European Platform on Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) and DIVERSITAS. It is also involved in the national node of Fauna Europea. The Platform serves as the secretariat of EPBRS. As active participant of the CCIM-CCPIE (Co-ordination Committee for International Environmental Policies) steering groups on biodiversity and nature it contributes to the reporting obligations on the status of biodiversity research to international conventions.
Expected results and/or products
- Improved co-operation between researchers.
- Increased participation of Belgian Biodiversity researchers in international scientific programmes.
- Better communication between researchers and policy makers in the field of biodiversity.
- Involvement of researchers in the development of a policy on biodiversity research.
- Formulating advice on biodiversity research.
- Recognition as information hatch to the public with an interest in biodiversity science.
The Belgian Science Policy Office is the only Belgian government body that has a specific research programme on biodiversity, notwithstanding that biodiversity itself is a regional competence. The partners within the programme were therefore selected within the regions (RCNFW and IN), and within the federal research institutes (RBINS). Each of the partners has a good reputation in the field of biodiversity research.