Request > Integrating biodiversity research and knowledge at European and global scales

What needs to be done to better integrate research and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services from the global to the European level, and vice versa?

Requester: European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation (DG R&I)
Summary

Type of request: Knowledge synthesis
This request is based on the need to translate the outcomes of global science-policy processes on biodiversity and ecosystem services into action at the European scale and, vice versa, to ensure that European science-policy processes contribute to the global debate and action.

Reference: CfR.2/2017/3

Contact points

KCB Focal Point: Heidi Wittmer and Juliette Young (deputy)
EMB Contact Point: Jorge Ventocilla

Final outputs

Final report: file. 1.01.2019
DOW: file. 01.04.2018
Poster: Poster presented at the POCC Conference (23-24/01/2019, Brussels).
Presentation ILTER-eLTER
Presentation EPBRES
Workshop documents: BiodivERsA’s presentation
Lesson learned presentation
Global to EU workshop presentation
IPBES presentation
Research needs in CBD COP decision presentation

The process identifies that what needs to be done to better integrate research and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services from the global to the European level, and vice versa is important to understand the different levels and elements involved. Against this background, suggestions to improve the interaction between EU and Global will involve different issues, steps and levels and therefore, different players to identify enabling actions to put in place.

Some element to consider when coordinating science and policy:

  • Identifying knowledge needs
  • Identifying research priorities and programming research
  • Curating research data and monitoring
  • Translating research into policy
  • Shift from ‘decision-making’ to ‘policy-making.’

Some enabling actions to improve the interaction EU to Global and vice versa:

  • Improving the capacity to mobilise data for global assessments and research needs.
  • A need for a more formalized coordination and consensus at the EU level
  • Approaches should be tailored towards the needs of specific actors and levels.
  • Strong coordination between well-established initiatives
  • Opportunities should be sought to build on the existing governance structures and to involve different sectors more explicitly

While many interactions between European and global levels occur at the level of scientists, projects, (joint) programming, assessment review and adoption or decision making by parties, a more strategic approach could further improve processes and results.

To date, no strategic analysis has been made to understand:

  • How global processes and outcomes dedicated on research and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services (e.g. from the SDGs, CBD, IPBES or IPCC), could concretely be translated into European research and innovation policy (Horizon 2020 and FP9); or
  • How best European research and innovation policy processes and deliveries (projects, knowledge, scientific capacity) could strategically feed into global processes.

At the global intergovernmental level, decisions from the Convention on Biological Diversity (based on SBSTTA recommendations) and publications (such as the Global Biodiversity Outlook), and assessments and processes of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), all recommend to further work on knowledge for biodiversity and ecosystem services, to undertake research, and to invest in tools and capacity building.

Timeline

Date request received: 28/09/2017
Call for Knowledge: 11/01/2018

This request entitled “What needs to be done to better integrate research and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services from the global to the European level, and vice versa?” was put forward by the European Commission, DG R&I.

Scoping phase

EKLIPSE developed a questionnaire which was more broadly publicized with the help of the requester, as well as contacted selected representatives from key organisations to share their knowledge on this issue and suggest recommendations. The questionnaire developed for this activity was used to interview 12 selected experts. Experts that accepted to be interviewed included Augustin Berhöfer, Jerry Harrison, Isabel Pinto, Peter Bridgewater, Bob Scholes, Brigitte Baptiste, Asghar M. Fazel, Hesiquio Benítez-Díaz, Paula Harrison and Markus Fischer.

The Document of Work (DoW) described the results of the scoping activities as well as the background of the request and was the basis for the call for knowledge. 

Answering the request

The collected feedback from the questionnaires was then used as input for a workshop on June 1st 2018 on this topic, organized by DG R&I, with EKLIPSE leading its design and facilitation. To the workshop was attended by over 30 experts from government, civil society and international organizations. It aimed at understanding and improving the links between European and global science and policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services, by looking at the methodologies used by others to interpret the international assessments into prioritisation for their own needs, and how to help facilitate a process with relevant players on the steps forward in better linking European and Global science and policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Finalization

In June 2019 the final report was finalised and published.

When trying to identify what needs to be done to better integrate research and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services from the global to the European level, and vice versa, it is important to first understand the different levels and elements involved. Against this background, suggestions to improve the interaction between EU and Global will involve different issues, steps and levels and therefore different players in order to identify enabling actions to put in place. Find out more in the workshop report.