European Conference: Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change

Tuesday, 27th June 2017 to Thursday, 29th June 2017

Bonn, Germany


Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change: challenges, opportunities and evidence gaps

European Conference hosted by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the European Network of Heads of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) in co-operation with the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) / German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

Climate change poses significant challenges to biodiversity and human well-being in Europe. As the majority of Europeans live in urban areas and cities are often subject to exacerbated heat island effects, consequences of climate change may be experienced first in urban settings. Biodiversity in urban as well as in adjacent rural areas, in turn, can provide health and climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits that can be actively fostered by nature-based solutions.

This joint European conference in Bonn will bring together experts from science, policy and practice to highlight and discuss the importance of biodiversity’s contribution to human health in the face of climate change. In this context health is considered in its physical, psychological and social dimension, including socio-environmental equity. The aim of the conference is to increase knowledge, share experiences and foster nature-based solutions to meet the challenges of climate change and health issues.

The conference is divided into three main areas (day 1: science, day 2: practice and implementation, day 3: policy and economy) and will feature presentations by leading experts in the fields of biodiversity, health and climate change including:

-          Humberto Delgado Rosa (EC, DG Environment, Director for Natural Capital)

-          Thomas Elmqvist (Stockholm Resilience Centre)

-          Richard Mitchell (Institute for Health and Wellbeing/CRESH, Glasgow University)

-          Kevin Gaston (University of Exeter, UK)

-          Terry Hartig (Upsala University, Sweden)

-          Catherine Ward Thompson (Edinburgh College of Art, UK)

-          Roderick Lawrence (Director of the Global Environmental Policy Program, University Geneva)

-          Thomas Claßen (NRW Centre for Health, Germany)

-          Karsten Mankowsky (Political chair of the German National Healthy Cities Network)

On day 2, interactive workshop sessions will address eight specific themes ranging from “Evidence for biodiversity’s contribution to health”, to “Health and protected areas” and “Psychological effects of nature and biodiversity” as well as “Linking initiatives in biodiversity, health and policy”, “Allergenic plants and vector borne diseases” and “Nature-based solutions for health and social equity”. In addition, “Landscape planning for multifunctional urban spaces” will be addressed. A special session is dedicated to “Lessons learned from green interventions for enhancing human health in urban areas”, where emphasis is given to good practice examples and the sharing of experience among community level actors.

Results of conference discussions will feed into ENCA recommendations for creating synergies between ongoing policy processes, scientific programmes and practical implementation of nature conservation measures in European urban and rural areas to support health measures in the face of a changing climate.

Here, you will find information on the conference programme and interactive sessions.

Networking opportunities and social events include an evening reception and a conference dinner.

Open abstract call for talks & posters

We welcome the submission of abstracts for oral and poster presentations! Oral presentations will be held within the eight interactive sessions. We are particularly interested in contributions that demonstrate good practice in implementing nature-based solutions to health and equity issues in urban areas and their rural surroundings from a scientific, policy and practical perspective. Ideally these topics should be linked to climate change issues. Please notice that only a limited number of contributions can be accepted.

Deadline for abstract submission is Monday, 6 February 2017 (abstract submission guidelines)


Early bird registration deadline: Monday, 3 April 2017

Final registration deadline: Monday, 29 May 2017

Please register here (Due to limited availability of places early registration is recommended.)

Natural capital, national performance and the economy

Wednesday, 28th June 2017 - 14:00 to 16:00

Old Library, School of Geosciences, Drummond Street, University of Edinburgh

Natural capital underpins and supports human society. But the actual nature of that relationship is often difficult to measure and nature may be invisible in our decision making tools and models. Consequently, there is growing interest in how we can both measure changes in natural capital and develop our understanding of how those changes then impact on society. This social impact can be considered in terms of either our well-being or in the impact on the economy.

The purpose of this ESCom event is to introduce some of the different strands of work taking place in Scotland that aim to understand how natural capital contributes to our national well-being and the economy. Developing this understanding may help us to determine how sustainable our use of natural capital is and where important risks and opportunities exist.


Paul Watkinson, SNH: The Natural Capital Asset Index and the National Performance Framework

Alistair McVittie, SRUC: Natural Capital Accounts: existing UK initiatives and planned work in Scotland

David Comerford, Fraser of Allander Institute: Modelling the contribution of natural capital to the wider economy


Workshop – natural capital scenarios

To be useful in decision making our approaches to assessing natural capital need to be able to address future scenarios either through modeling those scenarios or highlighting where criticalities may arise.

We would like participants to spend some time developing and describing potential scenarios that may impact on Scotland’s natural capital assets. These may then inform future analyses. Examples of what we would like participants to consider:

  • What is driving this scenario, is it environmental (e.g. climate change) or political (e.g. Brexit)?
  • What sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry) or wider supply chains (e.g. food)?
  • What timeframes (e.g. next 5 years, up to 10 years, more than 10 years)?
  • What locations (e.g. national, regional, catchment)?
  • What data or indicators are available?

If you have any questions about the event, please contact

To register use the event link below.

Event link:

Valuing Nature Keynote Lecture Series: "Valuing the Invaluable" - Edinburgh

Monday, 3rd July 2017 - 17:30 to 20:00

The second of the Valuing Nature Keynote Lecture Series will be given by Dr Richard Gunton from the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus, a £3m national research centre hosted by the University of Surrey.

Lecture Title: Beyond Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital: Valuing the Invaluable. 

Lecture Abstract

Valuing nature in practice means quantifying the diverse ways in which different people appreciate specific natural places.  The ecosystem services framework, and the related concept of natural capital, have provided some useful tools and methods for assessment of natural resources.  They fail, however, to capture the full diversity of humans' appreciation for our environment because of both their origins in microeconomics and a prevalent assumption of the Benevolence of Nature.  In this lecture I will demonstrate some of the logical and ethical problems that can arise from economic thinking in this area and then show how a framework explicitly focused on human subjects can better capture the full range of ways in which people value natural places.  Such an "ecosystem valuing framework" can help us quantify the diverse aspects in which humans and indeed non-human organisms value nature, and move environmental policy-making in more democratic directions.


Dr Gunton studied ecology at Cambridge and Leeds and then undertook field research on South African and Australian woodlands. Back in Europe his research has focused on arable ecology, biodiversity patterns and conservation ethics. He is the lead author of 11 articles and 2 book chapters spanning a wide range of interests in ecology and philosophy of science. His interests in sustainability and complexity have recently led him to a new research position in financial systems stability and a fellowship with the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN).

Venue: St Trinnean's Room, St Leonards Hall, 18 Holyrood Park Rd, Edinburgh EH16 5AY.

The 45 minute lecture will be followed by responses from the following Panelists:

Michael Winter (Chair) Professor of Land Economy and Society, Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (University of Exeter). Member of Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team

Professor Emily Brady - Professor of Environment and Philosophy, The University of Edinburgh.

Guy Duke Member of Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team and Deputy Chair of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

Delegates will be encouraged to take part in a Q&A session to round off the evening.

Light refreshments will be available.

Register HERE

South West Marine Natural Capital Conference 2017

Tuesday, 11th July 2017 - 9:30 to 16:00

Organised by the Devon Maritime Forum in partnership with SWEEP, North Devon Marine Pioneer and WWF UK Seas, this free event will introduce the notion of natural capital to a range of marine business and organisations from across the South West. Venue: Exeter Racecourse, EX6 7XS 

What is Natural Capital?

As a region, the South West of England is hugely dependent on its natural capital, and particularly its marine natural capital, for its economic prosperity.

Its outstanding marine environment and abundant marine assets provide the natural capital upon which many key regional industries, including the fishing/aquaculture; marine renewable; and marine and coastal tourism/leisure sectors, are built. Given the scale and importance of marine natural capital to the South West’s economy combined with the region’s world-leading expertise in marine science and environmental economics, it is not surprising that the South West of England has emerged as a global pioneer in implementing and testing the natural capital approach.

About the day

The first conference of its kind, the South West Marine Natural Capital Conference will provide an excellent opportunity for leading practitioners, businesses and interested stakeholders to learn more about natural capital, the natural capital approach, and the region’s marine and coastal assets. Central to the day will be the showcasing of the Marine Pioneer, SWEEP and UK SEAS projects and the unique opportunity to learn about and engage with the individual projects and as well as to explore their common themes, challenges and ambitions.

The morning will see a number of key presentations from experts on utilising natural capital, and applying it to marine environments.

**Speaker announcement** Tony Juniper
Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor, and leading British environmentalist. Tony has written several books, including the multi-award winning best-seller What has Nature ever done for us?, and works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit.

Tony will kick start the morning sessions with his introduction to what natural capital does for us in the UK.

The afternoon will involve a choice of breakout sessions for participation.

A free buffet lunch is included.

Who should attend?

Anyone with an interest in the marine environment or marine economy. The event will help delegates to understand how a natural capital approach to valuing our marine assets can be beneficially adopted in a range of situations.

To register for this FREE EVENT please visit:


The Association of Applied Biologists - Sustainable Intensification Conference

Tuesday, 28th November 2017 to Thursday, 30th November 2017

Announcement and Call for Papers

A 3-day conference at Rothamstead Research, Harpenden, Herts, UK.

Full information and registration available on the Association of Applied Biologists website or on the conference flier

Agriculture accounts for around 70% of the UK land area. It plays an essential role in the rural economy not only through the production of food and other agricultural outputs, but in the delivery of a wide range of additional ecosystem services and environmental outcomes. These include the provision of clean water, the regulation of air quality, flooding, climate and nutrient cycles, biodiversity, cultural, aesthetic and recreational value.

In addition, the global food supply system faces an unprecedented challenge to feed a growing global population and food security is firmly on the political agenda. UN projections of population growth indicate that the global food supply system will have to feed between 9 and ten billion people by 2050 and, furthermore, the world’s population is expected to continue growing during the second half of the century.

The challenge for the agricultural sector is therefore one of sustainable intensification. This means increasing food production while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts and enhancing the wide range of interlinked ecosystem services that society needs from land. The UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has sought to address this challenge by investing £4 million of research through the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP) which is due to be concluded in November 2017. This conference will explore the outcomes of SIP and other relevant research.