Four-spotted chaser dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata), photo by Fiona Devaney

Four-spotted chaser dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata), photo by Fiona Devaney

Developing a knowledge network for European expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform policy making economic sectors

Funded by: EU Seventh Framework Programme

Knowledge about biodiversity and ecosystem services is generally well advanced in the European scientific community. However, on the global as well as the European scale, there is a failure to communicate the knowledge gained into the policy-making process and society as a whole. Such communication efforts must ensure that all relevant knowledge is accessible and that all existing biodiversity research communities and other knowledge holders are involved in a network structure that is linked to decision making bodies.

The overall objective of the KNEU project is to develop a recommended design for a scientific biodiversity Network of Knowledge (NoK) to inform policy-makers and other societal actors. This network shall be open, transparent, flexible, equally accessible to all, independent, be scientifically- and evidence-based and have a robust structure. It will develop links to relevant clients to support the science-society interface in Europe and beyond. To achieve this, the project brings together expertise from all major biodiversity research fields (in the consortium and beyond). Beginning with mapping the biodiversity knowledge landscape in Europe, the project will develop a prototype NoK, involving a wide number of institutions and networks in biodiversity research and policy. This prototype will then be used as a vehicle to carry out case studies in relevant policy fields (agriculture, biodiversity conservation, marine issues) in order to test and trial its functioning and effectiveness. The experience gained will be evaluated by an additional expert group within the project in order to provide input for developing a recommended design for a potential future Network of Knowledge. The project management work package will ensure international cooperation and the proper communication with potential clients of the network and the research community.
The KNEU project is coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme. BEC Consultants are the Irish representative to the project.