Attitudes towards large carnivores

(Organized by: Michela Pacifici, Sapienza Università di Roma (IT); Jenny Anne Glikman, Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados (IESA-CSIC)), WED 24 

Attitudinal studies toward large carnivores are becoming a common practice as a start for understanding human wildlife coexistence. However, human coexistence with wildlife is influenced by a variety of factors that researchers and managers struggle to identify and address. As human-wildlife interactions increase over time, successful wildlife conservation will depend not only on understanding attitudes towards wildlife, but also on implementing successful strategies for an effective coexistence among interest groups. The goal of this workshop is to advance our collective understanding of attitudes toward large carnivores, and to identify approaches to foster coexistence across Europe. The workshop will begin with a series of short presentations of research findings and lessons learned for understanding attitudes towards large carnivores across diverse European countries. Specifically, researchers will highlight case studies from southern Europe (Italy, Albania) to northern Europe (Switzerland, Germany and Sweden), as well as eastern Europe (Romania). Furthermore, there are gradients of length in co-habitation with large carnivores among these countries; there are some where large carnivores have been never extirpated, and others where recolonization is recent. After this series of presentation, participants will break into smaller groups to explore lessons learned and identify potential patterns that influence attitudes toward large carnivores, and that can support coexistence. Finally, the session participants will reconvene to summarize and synthesize progress made in small groups and to discuss potential implications for assessment, application, and evaluation of work designed to promote coexistence.

Genetic considerations as part of conservation reintroductions, supplementations and translocations

(Organized by: Philippine Vergeer, Wageningen University, Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group; Robert Ekblom, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Analysis Department), TUE 23 

In order to prevent further decline and local extinctions of plant and animal species, reintroductions, supplementations and translocations are increasingly applied in nature conservation. However, with varying success. The reason for this may be linked to genetic processes, which are often not fully considered in restoration practices. In this workshop, we aim to bring together conservation biologists, practitioners and policy makers to highlight and discuss the importance of genetic considerations in conservation and restoration.
The workshop will begin with a series of short presentations of case studies, research findings and lessons learned of (re)introductions. We will discuss how genetic considerations have been adopted and highlight work that is needed both before and after (re)introduction efforts, such as habitat quality checks, genetic screenings, the importance of monitoring, implementation of specific management practices and legislation and troubleshooting in problematic (re)introduction programmes.
After the presentations we will start a discussion with invited experts from the field to explore lessons learned and identify bottlenecks and opportunities. Participants are invited to provide example(s) from their own practice. Examples can be send to: A selection of case studies will be discussed on major themes such as bottlenecks and opportunities, risks, methodology, and implementation in management.
This workshop is an initiative of COST Action CA18134 - Genomic BIodiversity Knowledge for Resilient Ecosystems "G-BIKE" and will provide a forum for discussion to increase awareness of genetic processes in nature conservation, leading to more effective and successful conservation outcomes.

Invited Speakers:
Martin Gaywood – University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland;
José A Godoy – Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Spain;
Christina Hvilsom – Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark;
Philippine Vergeer – Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

Invited Experts:
Robert Ekblom – The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Sweden;
Peter Galbusera - Antwerp Zoo Centre for Research and Conservation, Belgium;
Myriam Heuertz – Biogeco, INRAE, Univ. Bordeaux, France;
Joachim Mergeay – Research Institute for Nature and Forest & KU Leuven, Belgium.

Science-Policy Interfaces in a Rapidly Changing World

(Organized by: Eszter Kelemen, Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences (HU); Marie Vandewalle, Department of Conservation Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (GE); Juliette Young, INRAE – FR; Hien T. Ngo, UN-FAO (IT), THU 25

The concept of science-policy interfaces (SPIs) has been attracting a growing interest both in theoretical and empirical research since its inception in the mid-2000s. SPIs can be understood as social processes of mutual relations and knowledge co-creation between policy-makers, scientists and other actors in the policy process which contribute to more robust policy decisions (van den Hove, 2007). Interactions between actors of the SPIs are facilitated by boundary organizations, showing large diversity in terms of whom they engage, what knowledge creation processes are developed, or which scales they operate at (Sarkki et al. 2020). In recent years, biodiversity focused SPIs are proliferating at various scales of decision-making, ranging from global (e.g. IPBES) to EU (e.g. Eklipse, OPPLA) and national level platforms.
Current crises affecting different dimensions of our lives - i.e. climate change, biodiversity loss, the socio-economic and health impacts of the pandemics, or the emergence of ‘alternative truths’ and the growing mistrust in science and political institutions - requires SPIs to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Strategic policy documents and scientific papers urge for transformative changes, including transformations in how politics and governance are enacted, and rethinking the role science and knowledge play in the policy process. Key aspects of the renewal of SPIs include, among others, the widening of their scope by collaboration between existing interfaces along horizontal topics (see e.g. the recent IPBES-IPCC report), and the broadening of the range of actors who participate (i.e. moving towards science-policy-society interfaces).
The objective of this workshop is to contextualize SPIs among these changing circumstances and discuss potential new pathways for SPIs which can genuinely contribute to transformational change.

How international Conventions, Treaties and Organizations serve Nature Conservation

(Organized by: Katalin Pap, University of Szeged), WED 24 

During this workshop we will explore, how international/intergovernmental institutions provide support for Nature Conservation practitioners. What is the frame, finance behind each organization, and how can they achieve their mandate? Who is responsible for monitoring and who can facilitate the communication between the contracting parties?
Speakers from the Ramsar Convention, Bern Convention, Washington Convention, IUCN, and FAO will introduce in 10 min slots their organization, funding sources, goals and recent work, which was implemented to enhance and facilitate the work of Nature Conservation practitioners.

Large Scale action: How can we assess, what has and hasn’t worked in science and environmental policy? IF the assessment is done, what are the measures organizations shall take to be more effective?

Small Scale action: WHAT are the actual actions - suggested by the organizations at the workshop - a common citizen/farmer/researcher can do, to prevent/slow down global ecological issues? How can we turn TALK into ACTION? Finance into PRACTISE?

Expected speakers:

Isabel Wallnöfer – Junior Professional for Europe, Technical Support, Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands (;

Jan Plesník – Senior Member of the Bureau of the Bern Convention Standing Committee from the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (;

Luigi Boitani – Professor of the University of Rome, associated with the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of IUCN (;

Anna Kanshieva – Biodiversity Expert at FAO (

What’s driving insect decline (and what’s not)? 

(Organized byAndrew Bladon, Lynn Dicks, University of Cambridge), FRI 26

The last few years have seen a rapid rise in concern for the state of insect populations globally1,2. Despite efforts to collate and understand existing long-term datasets, many insect taxa, in many regions, remain desperately understudied, and the threats to their survival are poorly understood3,4. We will gather experts from across the ECCB conference to develop a framework for understanding what we do know about these understudied insects. The workshop will serve as a seed event, with participants invited to run similar workshops at regional conferences later in the year, or in early 2023. Where possible, some of these events will take place in non-English languages, to enable participation by a diverse group of experts5. The results of the ECCB and regional workshops will be compiled, and used to inform the structure of a global Delphi-process, which will run in 2023. By synthesising expert knowledge on the threats to understudied insects from around the world, our workshop will shine a light on currently unseen aspects of the biodiversity crisis.


van Klink, R. et al. Meta-analysis reveals declines in terrestrial but increases in freshwater insect abundances. Science 368, 417–420 (2020).

Wagner, D. L., Grames, E. M., Forister, M. L., Berenbaum, M. R. & Stopak, D. Insect decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a thousand cuts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 118, (2021).

Miličić, M., Popov, S., Branco, V. V. & Cardoso, P. Insect threats and conservation through the lens of global experts. Conserv. Lett. 14, e12814 (2021).

Saunders, M. E., Janes, J. K. & O’Hanlon, J. C. Moving On from the Insect Apocalypse Narrative: Engaging with Evidence-Based Insect Conservation. BioScience 70, 80–89 (2020).

Amano, T. et al. Tapping into non-English-language science for the conservation of global biodiversity. PLOS Biol. 19, e3001296 (2021).

Expected speakers:

Lynn Dicks – insect conservation, knowledge synthesis methods. 

Andrew Bladon – Lepidoptera ecology and conservation, running expert assessments of conservation actions. 

Charlie Outhwaite – biodiversity conservation, threat assessments. 

Publishing conservation science
(Organized by: Mark Burgman, Editor-in chief, Conservation Biology), WED 24 
The publishing landscape is changing rapidly, mostly for the better. In this session, Mark will very briefly outline the basic publication process, the history of the three SCB journals (Conservation Letters, Conservation Science and Practice, and Conservation Biology) and the differences between them. He will then be available to try to answer any questions you may have about scientific publication in general, or the philosophies, processes and potential futures of the three SCB journals.

In times of war and borders walls: conservation for peace, peace for conservation
(Organized byNuria 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 (evening disscussion)

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.

Workshops are aimed at encouraging interaction and dialogue between a smaller group of speakers and the broader audience. The format of workshops is flexible. As an example, a workshop might consist of a few short talks providing an overview followed by a facilitated discussion, or they may be a focused, round-table type discussions to synthesize participants’ insights of a particular challenge for humanity. The duration of a workshop can be up to 2 hours, and will be scheduled in parallel with symposia and contributed sessions. All workshop organisers and speakers must be registered participants (as early bird registrants).