Pursuing benefits for nature and society

The summary for policy makers of this year’s ALTER-Net conference is now published. Titled ‘Pursuing benefits for nature and society’ the policy brief formulates five key messages from Europe’s ecosystem research community in support of identifying synergies and reducing conflicts between nature and society.

  • Considering multiple values, including relational values, is essential for achieving a sustainable society and economy. Capitalization of nature may neglect these relational values of nature with people.
  • Synergies between nature and society are possible and necessitate awareness of and collaboration between policy sectors and governance levels. Conflicts and trade-offs need to be acknowledged and genuinely addressed.
  • European institutions should facilitate synergies between nature and society. They can offer a coherent framework with shared aims and objectives while maintaining flexibility for locally adapted implementation. The UN Sustainable Development Goals offer such a framework.
  • Evidence and a good knowledge base are essential to support decisions at the interface between nature and society and to raise societal awareness.
  • Interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary science, through integrated stakeholder participation, is required when identifying, designing and implementing tailored solutions that offer multiple benefits.

I produced the brief under an ALTER-Net assignment and based on the input of the many session organizers and the conference organizing committee.