Making an impact with research

 

Meeting the evidence needs of policy and decision makers is a major challenge in the development of research on biodiversity and ecosystems. Decisions affecting the natural environment should be informed by a sound evidence base, and BiodivERsA1, a partnership for funding pan-European research, recognises the benefits of funding research in these areas. Since 2008 it has supported 28 major research projects, to which €30 million has been contributed by national funding organisations from across the European Union.Attendess at the BiodivERsA Workshop on Stakeholder Engagement ©Wendy Dalton_JNCC

 

BiodivERsA evaluates all project applications on policy evidence and likely impact – their thinking has now been developed to promote engagement with decision makers to ensure success in designing and applying their research.  With this in mind, BiodivERsA partners are developing guidelines to support future research project teams in stakeholder engagement; JNCC leads on this task.

 

Initial guidance on stakeholder engagement was drafted in April 20122, along with the options for evaluation of project applications. To test the guidelines, JNCC hosted a two-day workshop in April 2013, where representatives from 21 BiodivERsA projects and other experts were invited to share their stakeholder engagement experiences.

 

JNCC Chair, Peter Bridgewater, opened the workshop with a presentation on the importance of gaining impact on decision making from research. Juliette Young, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology UK, from the EU project SPIRAL3, and Marie Vanderwalle, UFZ Germany, from EU project BiodivesityKnowledge4 gave presentations on creating successful stakeholder engagement practices.  Catherine Jolibert from the University of Barcelona, Spain, provided insights in how to promote stakeholder engagement based on her in-depth analysis of EU projects, whilst Mark Reed from Birmingham City University and Anna Evely from Project Maya gave an overview of the recently published knowledge exchange approach developed for the Living With Environmental Change programme in the UK. First-hand experience of the practicalities of stakeholder engagement was provided by Penelope Lamarque, Université Joseph Fourier, France, from one of the BiodivERsA projects (VITAL).

 

The workshop provided important insights and the guidelines, or toolkit, will be adapted before publication later this year. A report of the workshop and all the presentations will be published shortly on the BiodivERsA website.       

 

1 BiodivERsA is an EU coordination action funded under the 7th Framework Programme http://www.biodiversa.org/

2 An Executive Summary is available on the JNCC website

3 Interfacing biodiversity and policy http://www.spiral-project.eu/

4 An EU biodiversity Network of Knowledge to inform policy-makers and other societal actors http://www.biodiversityknowledge.eu/

 

Contact File

 

Helen Baker

Biodiversity Research Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866820

 

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