De DE/EKLIPSE first conference

On the 6-7th December 2016, we held our first EKLIPSE science-policy-society conference in Brussels. Over 85 people from across the EU, from different disciplines and sectors, participated. The main aim of the conference was to let people know about EKLIPSE, its vision and functions, and to explore collectively how wider engagement could be achieved.

The EKLIPSE project has a vision to build an innovative, light, ethical and self-sustainable EU support mechanism for evidence-informed policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Importantly, this mechanism will be handed over to the wider community once established, in 2020. The mechanism will be based on four pillars: a strong ethical infrastructure to ensure robust and transparent processes, a bottom-up approach, joint evidence gathering, and strong networking.

Networking is a key part of the mechanism: it will depend on the involvement of a wide range of decision-makers, scientists and other experts, and societal actors. For societal actors, we have developed a strategy, together with initiatives such as science cafes, and our KNOCK discussion forum

It was clear at the conference that a number of people, initiatives and projects share our vision and have contributed to where we are now. For example, the conference highlighted the link with Oppla on short term requests.

The conference was a great opportunity to network, meet new colleagues and plan future activities together. There are a huge number of ways to get engaged in EKLIPSE, either through our existing bodies, taking part in the calls for requests and calls for expertise, but also, if you would like us to present at your event, need support for a training course or capacity-building exercise. Just get in touch and we can take it from there!

Many thanks again to all who helped make this conference such a memorable event!