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Main outputs

 

New scientific knowledge was presented and a larger DIVERSITAS set of networks emerged as a result of the conference. A stronger base in the Africa region is developing thanks to initial contacts which were made in Cape Town. The main outputs of the DIVERSITAS OSC2 include:

  • Science-Policy position papers (outcome of round tables discussions)

The DIVERSITAS OSC2 conference gave particular importance to the role of science in informing policy. Five science-policy round tables provided an opportunity for participants to exchange the latest information about key policy developments related to biodiversity and ecosystem services, to hear from various protagonists about the issues at stake for our community, and to provide input into these key debates.
1-Towards an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
2-TEEB-Initiative on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Scientific and practical challenges in framing the economics of ecosystem services
3-Access and Benefit Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity: Opportunities and challenges for biodiversity science
4-The CBD 2010 targets and beyond: towards a new generation of science based indicators
5-Is simultaneously meeting the Millennium Development Goals on food production and biodiversity possible?
A set of papers is in preparation for a special issue of the volume “Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing” of a new journal called Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST), to appear in April 2010.

  • Scientific publications

Chairs of some of the science-policy round tables and symposiums at DIVERSITAS OSC2 were invited to provide an article on the outcome of their sessions for a special issue of the volume "Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing" of a new journal called Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST). Read here the inaugurial editorial of COSUST, by Rik Leemans, Chair SC-ESSP (Earth System Science Partnership), and Anand Patwardhan, co-Chair GCP (Global Carbon Project) of ESSP, and here, the editorial overview of the special issue, by Anne Larigauderie and Harold Mooney, 2010. Read here the complete issue.

  • DIVERSITAS National Committees

The first day of the DIVERSITAS OSC2 was dedicated to the Members of DIVERSITAS (Full and Affiliated Members).

DIVERSITAS National Committees are very important since they allow DIVERSITAS to enlarge its scientific and policy network, and to link up with national biodiversity programmes. National Committees help DIVERSITAS to implement its science plan, and to adapt it to local and regional concerns.

At the time of the conference, there were 16 Full Members (financially contributing countries) and 15 Affiliated Members (with an established National Committee or a Focal Point). In addition to these national members, DIVERSITAS has strong ties with regional networks: DIVERSITAS in Western Pacific and Asia (DIWPA), the Asia-Pacific Network for global change research (APN), the Inter-American Institute for global change research (IAI), EPBRS (European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy), and AfricanNESS (African Network for Earth System Science).

28 countries and 3 regional networks were represented. This meeting was prepared by the DIVERSITAS Scientific Committee in collaboration with the DIVERSITAS Full Members, which had a preliminary meeting on 12th October.

The goal of this meeting was to:

  • Review activities of the past 4 years (both in DIVERSITAS and in National Committees);
  • Discuss how to enhance the role of DIVERSITAS Committees;
  • Engage the DIVERSITAS Committees into the discussions about the future of DIVERSITAS through exchanges on the draft DIVERSITAS Strategic Plan.

The discussions during this meeting were very rich and fruitful and a more detailed report presenting the outputs of the discussions and the way forward is available through DIVERSITAS secretariat.

An electronic post-conference survey was submitted to OSC2 participants (see Appendix 3). The analysis of this questionnaire revealed the following trends (30% of the conference participants replied to the questionnaire):

  • The majority of participants were from the science area (81.5%). Policy makers represented almost 22% of the participants.
  • Overall, the DIVERSITAS OSC2 was considered as a good investment of time (85%) and met the expectations of 81% of the participants.
  • Most of the responses show the relevance and the importance of having DIVERSITAS as an international programme on biodiversity science and holding this kind of Open Science Conference both for the science and policy communities working on biodiversity and for DIVERSITAS:
    • The conference achieved its main aims, which were a) strengthen biodiversity science by featuring a diversity of topics across countries and disciplines, and b) support the biodiversity science-policy interface (about 94% of positive answers).
    • The OSC2 provided an effective setting to showcase the work of DIVERSITAS projects and networks according to 93 % of the participants.
    • 93 % of the participants highlighted the benefit of having an international platform for biodiversity science, like DIVERSITAS.
    • The OSC2 was forward looking for 87.8% of the participants.
    • DIVERSITAS is a stronger organisation as a result of the Cape Town OSC2 according to 59.3% of the participants.
  • The conference participants acknowledge their interest in the conference scientific programme as well as the benefits they received from it:
    • 94% of all participants heard about new ideas and scientific results at the OSC2.
    • The OSC2 strengthened existing collaboration (80%) and catalysed the establishment of new collaborations (67%).
    • 88% of all participants became more familiar with key science-policy debates (e.g. IPBES, 2010 targets, TEEB, ABS).
    • 70% of all participants already involved in DIVERSITAS strengthened their interest and commitment to DIVERSITAS thanks to the OSC2.
    • 73% of the participants not previously involved in DIVERSITAS activities, felt like becoming involved in DIVERSITAS.
  • Overall the conference organisation was much appreciated:
    • The programme of plenary talks, the overall selection of topics and the number of presentations per parallel session was satisfactory (86% to 94%). In addition, posters received a very high visibility and posters sessions were as successful as the oral sessions (88%).
    • The major strengths of the OSC2 highlighted by participants were 1) to bring together scientists from many different disciplines; 2) to be an interface between science and policy; and 3) to propose a high level of expertise in a great diversity of topics.
    • However, the number of parallel sessions (symposiums and orals) was satisfactory for 51% of the participants. The other half of the participants found that there were too many parallel sessions and not enough time for discussion. To improve this, they propose to add one or two conference days to allow the same number of presentations but with less overlaps and more discussion time.

As a conclusion, 72 to 97% of the participants would like to attend the next DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference.

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