Discussion panels

In times of war and borders walls: conservation for peace, peace for conservation

The future of conservation – the future for us: What is the agenda for the next decade?

In times of war and borders walls: conservation for peace, peace for conservation

(Organized by: Nuria Selva, Institute of Nature Conservation Polish Academy of Science (PO); Zdenka Křenová (Global Change Research Institute CAS (CZE); Stefan Kreft, Policy Committee of the SCB – Europe Section; Pierre Ibisch, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (GER) - moderator)

THU 25 (18:30, room AULA)

Conservation and peace are closely tied together. Conservation challenges are typically complex and require cooperative solutions and long wind, given only in peaceful circumstances. That administrative borders do not align with biodiversity is part of that complexity, and cross-border management is the best solution. If we look at it the other way around, functional biodiversity and healthy ecosystems as a source of human life are essential conditions for peace. Conservation, thus, is an unrenounceable contribution to peace-keeping. Conservation initiatives such as ’peace parks’ (1) or transboundary UNESCO sites pacify cross-border conflicts. The European continent in its largest part has enjoyed three decades of peace, integration and important achievements in conservation (e.g., 2). However, some of these achievements have been eroded lately. Increasing competition and aggression, based on mixtures of intolerance, populism, nationalism and autocracy is putting democracy and European values, including biodiversity conservation, on a delicate balance. Likewise, implementation of conservation policies, exemplified by the EU Habitats and Birds Directives, is disrupted by nationalist, populist and anti-democratic politics – see the long struggle to preserve Bialowieza Forest (3) – and the proliferation of border walls and fences, recently intensive along the border of EU eastern countries (4, 5). Fatally, disdain of human rights and international law have culminated in a war in Europe, initiated by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, killing countless people, destroying biodiversity and representing an obstacle, insurmountable for the time being, to cooperation, including research and nature conservation. In view of the close intertwining of biodiversity conservation and peace in general, and the dramatic challenges European societies are increasingly facing, what shall we do as conservation professionals? This panel shall gather standpoints and questions from the conservation community and, in close interaction with the audience, provide a platform for discussion of these overly pressing issues.
(1) Vasilijevic M., Pezold T. (eds.). 2011.  Crossing borders for nature. European examples of transboundary conservation. IUCN.

(2) Chapron, G., Kaczensky, P., Linnell, J. D., Von Arx, M., Huber, D., Andrén, H., ... & Boitani, L. 2014. Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human-dominated landscapes. Science, 346(6216), 1517-1519.

(3) Resolution” Białowieża Forest: Hands off and eyes on”. 2019. International conference "Forests at risk: Białowieża and beyond", Society for Conservation Biology–European Section and University of Warsaw.

(4) Linnell, J. D., Trouwborst, A., Boitani, L., Kaczensky, P., Huber, D., Reljic, S., ... & Breitenmoser, U. 2016. Border security fencing and wildlife: the end of the transboundary paradigm in Eurasia?. PLoS Biology, 14(6), e1002483.

(5) Trouwborst, A., F. Fleurke, & J. Dubrulle . 2016. Border fences and their impacts on large carnivores, large herbivores and biodiversity: an international wildlife law perspective. Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law 25, 291-306.

- Iryna Stawczuk (former Ukrainian ViceMinister of Environment and Natural Resources)
- Ladislav Miko (former director of DG ENVI, EC and former Minister of Environment, Czech Republic)
- Katarzyna Nowak (border fences, Bialowieza Geobotanical Station)
- Luc Bas (former director of the IUCN Europe Regional office, Head of Coordination and Strategy at the European Environment Agency)
- Maciej Duszczyk (Warsaw University, Centre of Migration Research, former Vice-rector for research and international relations)
- Tatiana Kuzmenko (Frankfurt Zoological Society, "Expanding Protected Areas to Conserve Polesia, Ukraine")

The future of conservation – the future for us: What is the agenda for the next decade?

A plenary session concluding ECCB 2022, looking forward to the challenges and opportunities 

FRI 26 (16:00 - 17:30, room AULA)

The ECCB 2022 celebrates two decades of the Europe Section SCB and its achievements but this session will conclude the congress looking ahead to the next decade or two. What are the new challenges? What are the future opportunities?  How can and should the subject change? The session will begin with a keynote presentation by Bill Sutherland, followed by a panel discussion where they outline their future visions across fields  from politics to policy and science. Moderated by Antony Lynam - SCB president.

Keynote: Prof. William J. Sutherland (University of Cambridge)

Bill Sutherland gave a visionary plenary talk at the 2009 ECCB in Prague. At ECCB 2022, Bill will reflect on what has happened in our community since, and share his future visions. Bill holds the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology at the University of Cambridge and is a Professorial Fellow in St Catharine’s College. Over the last fifteen years, he has focussed on improving the effectiveness of conservation practice, especially through horizon scanning and embedding evidence in policy and practice and is completing an edited open access book Transforming Conservation: a practical guide to evidence and decision making.

Panellists, delivering further insights and visions:

Juliette Young – Juliette is a senior scientist at INRAE, the French National Institute for Research in Agriculture, Food and the Environment. She is an interdisciplinary scientist with over 20 years of ecological and social science expertise advancing knowledge of socio-ecological systems to mitigate impacts of environmental change and secure a more sustainable future for nature and people. She is a co-coordinator of the EC H2020- funded Eklipse science-policy mechanism on biodiversity and ecosystem services; a selected national expert for two IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem services) expert working groups; a founding member of the IUCN Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict and the IUCN Rewilding Group. She currently leads an international fellowship, which brings her twin interests of conflict and stakeholder participation together through the better understanding of the role of conflict to address current transformations in agriculture.

Anders Wijkman - Anders is honorary president of the Club of Rome, member of the Int´l Advisory Board of the Finnish Innovation Fund. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy on Forestry and Agricultural Sciences, the World Academy of Art and Science the World Future Council and the International Resource Panel (IRP). During his career, Anders has served as a Member of the European Parliament and the Swedish Parliament, as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Policy Director of UNDP.

Anne Magurran
– Anne is a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Her research focuses on biological diversity – its measurement, evolution, maintenance and conservation. She is the author of several books on measuring biological diversity and the importance of quantifying biodiversity for conservation. She is regularly consulted for global assessments and analyses of biodiversity and has spoken about biodiversity change at the World Economic Forum. She is one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world, and her research is often highlighted by journalists.

Ladislav Miko – Ladislav has been Deputy Director-General for the Food Chain in the European Commission’s Health and Food Safety Department (DG SANTE) since January 2011. His portfolio covers issues of food safety throughout the whole food chain, including plant and animal health, pesticides, biotechnology, food hygiene, nutrition and food sustainability. He was also acting Director-General in 2014 - 2015. From 2005 to 2010, he was Director for Nature in the Commission’s environment department. During the Czech Presidency of the EU in 2009 he was appointed Minister of Environment in the Czech government.

Antony Lynam, SCB president – Tony is Senior Conservationist at Wildlife Conservation Society. An Australian national, he has >30 years of experience conducting research and using evidence-based approaches to advise wildlife conservation projects and initiatives in Australia, the United States (California), Africa and Asia. After a brief stint working in government in Australia, he conducted research on Asian tropical mammals, including rodents, tigers, elephants, and tapirs. He has designed training curricula and trained government research, wildlife and protected area staff, and university students in wildlife survey and monitoring, conservation and protection techniques. He serves on the SMART Partnership, a consortium of conservation organizations working to bring technology to support rangers and managers of protected and conserved areas. He serves on the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, and Cat Specialist Group.