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BioFresh goes political: an overview of the 4th annual meeting of the BioFresh project

April 11, 2013

The 4th annual BioFresh meeting is just around the corner! The focus of this year’s meeting will be on the interface between science and policy and making freshwater biodiversity science more politically influential.

The fourth annual meeting of the BioFresh project will be held next week from April 15-19 in the trendy Germany city of Leipzig. The slogan of this year’s meeting is “BioFresh goes political”, which captures the focus of linking BioFresh science with policy and conservation outcomes. The meeting is a chance for members from our 19 partner organisations of the BioFresh team to get together and assess the progress of the previous 3 years and discuss plans for the final phase of the BioFresh project.

If you’re not familiar with the BioFresh project, you can check out this wonderful animation below explaining what it’s all about:

Alongside the important status updates and preparation for the future, a key feature of the meeting will be a workshop on understanding the science-policy interface and the implications for freshwater biodiversity research and funding. A full day of the week-long meeting will be dedicated to discussing the issues around making freshwater biodiversity science into policy, an indication the high priority BioFresh gives to linking the science of freshwater biodiversity with policy and conservation. This workshop should result in two main outcomes: one aim is to create a space where science and policy can come together to discuss current ways and methods of science-policy communication and its best practices, its challenges, and futures needs when engaging with policy makers and stakeholders. For this, BioFresh will profit from the experiences and inputs of several guests involved in other FP7 EU projects (KNEUOpenNESS, REFORM, SPIRAL, ViBRANT, WaterDISS) related to freshwater, e-infrastructures, data mobilisation and publishing. Finally, BioFresh hopes to join forces with these EU projects to design a Science-Policy Symposium on freshwater biodiversity, to be held in the Spring of 2014 in Brussels.

With BioFresh entering its final project phase, all of us are also looking forward to what will be beyond BioFresh. What happens to the biodiversity infrastructures built up such as the BioFresh portal, the Metadatabase and the Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas? Will there be new initiatives? And where is and where should Europe be going in biodiversity research?

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