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Net-Biome Final Conference with positive results for biodiversity research

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NET-BIOME held its final conference in Paris, between February 15 and 16, 2012.
The event was a great accomplishment for the project, as it succeeded in gathering top experts from the political and scientific communities to debate the present and future of biodiversity research in Europe’s Outermost Regions and Territories (OR’s and OCT’s). Among other participants, the conference benefitted from the inputs of various EU representatives, namely Ana-Paula Laissy, Head of the Unit “Coordination of outermost regions” (Directorate General for Regional Policy of the European Commission), Theo Saramandis, Head of the Task Force Overseas Countries and Territories (Directorate-General for  Development and Co-operation EuropeAid of  the European Commission), Ivan Conesa Alcolea, Net-Biome project officer (Directorate general Research and Innovation, Euroepan Research Area) and Karin Zaunberger (Directorate General Environment, Biodiversity Unit).

During the conference, those projects that were selected for funding through Net-Biome’s first joint call were presented. The projects clearly reflect the objectives of the theme chosen for the international call:
“Towards Biodiversity Management in support of Sustainable Development in Tropical and Subtropical EU”, which in turn were the core objective of NET-BIOME. The conference participants considered this joint call extremely relevant as it  was tailored specifically to address the needs and priorities identified by the overseas regions and territories themselves, in this way filling a gap of the OR’s and OCT’s in terms of knowledge building towards sustainable development and capacity building from within the regions and territories. The conference provided an atmosphere of exchange, such that synergies among the actual funded projects were identified, opening the way to further collaboration between the scientific communities of the OR’s and OCT’s.

NET-BIOME was a regional ERA-NET project comprising a consortium of 11 partners, including almost all tropical and subtropical regions and territories of the EU, pulling together interests in research activities in the crucial thematic field of biodiversity in relation to global changes and sustainable development. The overall objective of NET-BIOME was to network the Regional Research Policies on sustainable management of biodiversity in the European tropical and subtropical outermost regions and territories. By substantially improving the knowledge and coherence of funding of both basic and applied research, NET-BIOME aimed at making an important contribution to improve research efforts across European outermost regions/territories and to support long-term perspectives in European research policies to address the need to prevent, avoid and remediate the serious impacts of climate change and human pressures on tropical and subtropical biodiversity. The NET-BIOME project started in March 2007 and concluded on the 29th of February, 2012.

The final conference provided the Consortium with crucial recommendations for the future of biodiversity research in the OR’s and OCT’s.  The continuity of the network was endorsed by those present as a means of promoting the visibility of ORs and OCTs (and their natural assets) in the European stages of biodiversity and research. In fact, such a platform has the capacity for launching future calls, which should provide the basis for the promotion of proper research governance towards sustainable use and valorization of natural resources and systems of tropical and subtropical Europe.

> Agenda and presentations from the conference are available for download:
Net-Biome Final Conference proceedings