Improving Science-Policy interfaces for biodiversity (2004)

Recommendations of the meeting of the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy held under the Dutch Presidency of the EU Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 9th–13th December 2004, concerning: 




Acknowledging that for research to contribute to the target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 the interfaces between biodiversity science and policy 1 need to be improved, the participants of this meeting recognise that it is necessary to:


  • 1. promote participatory fora that foster adaptive management, generate debate and learning among scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders, and allow collaborative strategies for biodiversity policies to emerge


  • 2. develop synergies among biodiversity networks such as ERA-nets, Networks of Excellence, EPBRS, National Biodiversity Platforms, EEA, the Topic Centre on Biodiversity and Integrated Projects to consolidate the system of European scientific expertise in support of policy


  • 3. identify, involve, and further develop capacity in existing structures (e.g., NGOs, private initiatives, National Biodiversity Platforms) that play −or can play − a complementary role in the interfaces between biodiversity science and policy at different levels


  • 4. remove barriers to the sharing of data and improve procedures and tools for data sharing and presentation for different user groups


  • 5. foster good human, institutional and technical capacity in scientific and policy institutions via such efforts as exchanges of experience and bi- or multi-lateral co-operation


  • 6. encourage universities to include training in communication and mediation in scientific curricula 


  • 7. increase scientists’ awareness of policy and governance issues and policy-makers’ awareness of developments in science; for instance through exchange of staff between policy and research institutions and through joint workshops and training sessions


  • 8. encourage institutions to bring about the participation of scientists in science-policy interfaces and outreach activities by acknowledging and valuing these activities in career development and research funding criteria


  • 9. appoint specialised staff in research institutes to enable better communication of knowledge, in particular towards the development of real-time dialogue with, and input to, the policy process


  • 10. encourage and support research processes which include policy-makers and other stakeholders from the project conception stage onwards


  • 11. review and improve the science-policy interfaces of ongoing research projects and use this experience to strengthen this aspect in future projects and research programmes


  • 12. develop interdisciplinary research on the science-policy interfaces for biodiversity governance to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different interaction processes.




1 Science-policy interfaces are social processes which encompass relations between scientists and other actors in the policy process, and which allow for exchanges, co-evolution and joint construction of knowledge at different scales.