International community of biodiversity protection and restoration has entered a new phase with the introduction of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) following the COP 15 that took place in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022. Biodiversa+, the European Biodiversity Partnership, contributes to this global process by facilitating scientific input flow to the policy making processes. A science-policy forum was organised on this ground on 18 April 2023 to foster experience sharing between conservation actors and knowledge communities to identify the needs to accomplish the GBF goals and targets.
The forum, moderated by Sybille van den Hove from Bridging for Sustainability, started with the welcome words and introduction by Hilde Eggermont, Biodiversa+ Chair & Coordinator. Jillian Campbell from the CBD Secretariat addressed in her keynote speech the global process that led to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and informed the audience about the goals, targets and implementation roadmap of the GBF. Francisco De Asis Sanchez Crespo and Bastian Bertzky from the European Commission made a joint presentation that clarifies the EU strategy to contribute to the implementation of the GBF via fostering capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation. This presentation was followed by Andrew Plumptre, Head of the Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat, whose elaborative presentation showed the relevance of KBA Criteria for the GBF goals and targets. The last presentation of the plenary session was delivered by Martin Jung from IIASA who presented the recently launched NaturaConnect project that aims at building capacities to establish an EU conservation network.
The second half of the forum was structured as two subsequent panel discussions.
During the first panel session national conservation actors; Florent Merle (French Biodiversity Agency) Karel Chobot (Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic) and Milena Batakovic (Environmental Protection Agency of Montenegro) were joined by Martin Jung (IIASA) to share national experiences, needs and the barriers towards setting up a Trans-European Nature Network.
The second panel discussion hosted invited researchers funded under the BiodivProtect Call and previous Biodiversa calls, including Ester Serrao (University of Algarve), Konstantina Spiliopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Sigrid Engen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) and Virgilio Hermoso (University of Sevilla). Bastian Bertzky (DG Research & Innovation, EC) and Frédéric Lemaître (Biodiversa+ Secretariat) also joined the stage to discuss on knowledge and capacity needs to facilitate the implementation of the GBF and how can funded projects, with support from Biodiversa+ and the European Commission can contribute to the process.
This event was attended by 117 unique online attendees in addition to around 100 on-site participants and was then followed by the kick-off meeting of the 36 BiodivProtect projects.