Eszter Kelemen

Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG) & Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence.

Short CV

Eszter holds an MSc in economics and a PhD in environmental sciences. She is working at ESSRG - a small non-profit company cultivating cross-boundary research in Hungary - as senior researcher. Between 2008-2019 she taught environmental conflict management, ecological economics and decision techniques at different Hungarian universities. Her research topics range from human-nature interactions to ecosystem service valuation and policy analysis. She loves working with people who have diverse backgrounds and on-the-ground experience, and over the years she has developed skills in social scientific, participatory and deliberative techniques which help her facilitate knowledge co-creation processes. She has been engaged in the work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) since 2014, first as a member of the Values Expert Group, later as a Lead Author of the Global Assessment, and currently as a Coordinating Lead Author of the Values Assessment.

Plenary talk

Diverse values and plural valuation: options and opportunities to contribute to sustainability transformations.
The IPBES Global Assessment (GA) (IPBES, 2019) called for transformative actions to halt the loss of biodiversity which, at its current unprecedented pace, is threatening with the disruption of the social-ecological systems we are living in. The GA also highlighted that the indirect drivers of change (such as population growth, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, technology development or governance deficiencies and conflicts) are underpinned by the worldviews and values society holds. The scientific interest in values and valuation and its relationship to governance and policymaking is growing rapidly, leading to the recognition that acknowledging diverse values in decision-making is the prerequisite to effectively support and manage system-wide transformations towards a more sustainable future, but at the same time needs substantial changes in our existing governance systems (Visseren-Hamakers et al. 2021). The recent IPBES Assessment on Values and Valuation, getting discussed at the IPBES Plenary 9 in July 2022, digs deep into the theory and practice of the valuation of nature and its contributions to people, and provides guidance to the scientific community, as well as to decision-makers in different sectors and scales, on how to operationalize the values of nature in decision-making. This plenary presentation will share some of the key insights of the Values Assessment, especially how the values of nature can be conceptualized, how it is possible to assess the diversity of values, and what options and opportunities are available for decision-makers to act upon the diverse values of nature.


Luigi Boitani

Honorary (Emeritus) Professor of Conservation Biology and Animal Ecology, Sapienza Università di Roma.

Short CV

Luigi Boitani is Honorary (Emeritus) Professor of Conservation Biology and Animal Ecology at the University of Rome, Dept. of Biology and Biotechnologies. He has been Chair of the Department of Animal and Human Biology for 10 years (2000-10) and President of the Society for Conservation Biology (2009-11).

His main scientific interests are on a) the social ecology of carnivores, particularly wolves and bears on which he has been working since 1972; b) patterns and models of species distributions based on GIS tools; and c) planning and conservation of protected areas, with emphasis on Africa and Europe where he has contributed to the management plans of more than 30 national parks. He has lectured widely in North America and Europe.

He has been member of the IUCN’s SSC Steering Committee since 1994. He is the Chair of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe, a SSC Specialist Group; chair of the IUCN Red List Committee; CEO of the Fondation Segré in Geneva; founder and president of the Institute of Applied Ecology in Rome. He received the WWF Conservation Award and the Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit in 2012. He is author of more than 400 scientific papers and 10 books. 

Plenary talk

The large carnivores of Europe: the challenges of conservation and coexistence.
The large carnivores of Europe are, with few local exceptions, increasing in number and expanding in ranges. The trend is likely to continue as increasingly large parts of Europe are being abandoned in mountains and marginal agricultural areas. Conservationists must face a shift in focus, from battling to save endangered species to managing a conservation success with extensive economic, social and ecological implications.


Zuzana Münzbergová

Short CV

 Zuzana Münzbergová is head of the Population Ecology Department at the Botanical Institute, Czech Academy of Science and professor at the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague. Her research is focused on population biology and genetics of rare and endangered plant species, species dynamics at landscape scale, species ability to adapt to changing climatic conditions and interactions of plants with soil and soil biota. Most of her research is centred around species in grasslands, from dry grasslands to alpine grasslands.

Plenary talk

In her talk she will explore plant species abilities to adapt to changing environmental conditions, which may be both beneficial e.g. in case of helping plants to deal with changing climate as well as detrimental e.g. in species adaptations to cultivation in ex-situ collections. She will also explore whether cultivation of plants in private gardens, a novel approach to ex-situ species conservation, may mitigate the problems observed in other ex-situ collections.