BioDivERsa kick-off meeting and stakeholder workshop

A summary of the BioDivERsa kick-off meeting in Helsinki, Finland on 14-16 May 2019.

• Silke Bauer, Peter Desmet

Peter, Nadja and Silke attended the kick-off meeting organized for all 21 projects funded within the 2017-2018 Joint BiodivERsA-Belmont Forum Call on “Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem services”. This 3-in-1 meeting consisted of a data management workshop, the kick-off meeting, and a research and innovation workshop with stakeholders.

The data management workshop was aimed at promoting best practices regarding the management of data within the projects and come up with appropriate data management plans, in line with BiodivERsA’s and the Belmont Forum’s latest data policies. Peter presented how to manage and publish biodiversity data. Thanks to Peter and our earlier work, GloBAM’s data management plan was fairly easy to draft, is available online and was well reviewed by the BioDivERsa Data Management Working Group.

At the kick-off meeting, all funded projects were briefly introduced in thematic sessions, including GloBAM presented by Silke. These project introductions remained quite vague, which might be expected at this stage - all projects had only just started - so discussions on the science within the projects was limited. Most projects are thematically quite different from ours, with the exception of Future BirdScenarios – Conservation policy in a changing world: integrating citizen science data from national monitoring schemes to model impacts of global change scenarios, which is also bird related. Although encouraged from the BioDivERsA office and the Belmont forum, there currently doesn’t seem to be much potential for scientific collaborations with other projects, but have a look yourself in the brochure that briefly introduces all funded projects.

Finally, another important aspect of BioDivERsA projects is engaging stakeholders. In the last stakeholders workshop, stakeholders from two sectors – tourism and forestry and agriculture – were present and could express their interest for outcomes of projects or specific aspects of them. For GloBAM, these might not be the most important stakeholders – at least, at this early stage – but stakeholders from agriculture would certainly be interested in learning more about, e.g. the movements of agricultural pests.