Hosting over 80% of Europe´s species diversity, the Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of Europe have a special role in advancing biodiversity conservation in support of sustainable development. This was the message highlighted by the partners of NetBiome‐CSA at the European Parliament on the afternoon of 6 April 2016. The International Conference 'Boosting Biodiversity Research Cooperation: A NetBiome Roadmap for European (sub)Tropical Overseas' was co-hosted by Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP and Maurice Ponga MEP.
The EU overseas entities are more fragile and experiencing more threats by global changes and human activities than continental Europe. Building on work going back over a decade, NetBiome-CSA has strengthened and extended partnerships and cooperation among researchers, policy-makers, companies and civil society. This was based on a participatory process mobilising stakeholders´ knowledge and resources for initiatives such as policy and priority analysis, multi-stakeholder dialogues, exchange of good practices and issuing of policy recommendations and research priorities.
NetBiome-CSA aims - through a participative process - to mobilise biodiversity stakeholders in the EU Outermost Regions (OR) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT), their knowledge and resources for initiatives such as policy and priority analysis, multi-stakeholder dialogues, exchange of good practices, training and issuing of recommendations.
Members of the European Commission were present to provide support to the network and to highlight the need to tackle the challenges these entities face. Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director for Natural Capital within DG Environment stressed the 'important role of European overseas as a repository of biodiversity' and the need to increase that perception in Europe, particularly in the context of advancing the European Biodiversity Strategy. Birgit de Boissezon, Head of Unit for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources within DG Research & Innovation underlined the fact that 'NetBiome results provide visibility and momentum to the research capacities in ORs and OCTs', constituting an excellent example of open science and innovation. In her view, the research done in the EU’s overseas entities is an asset and must be integrated in the wider European biodiversity research landscape, while respecting its specificities and requirements.
Read the full event press-release here.
The meeting presentations and materials are available online at the event’s webpage.