June 27-29, 2017

Biodiversity and Health in the face of Climate Change: Challenges, opportunities and evidence gaps


Climate change poses significant challenges to biodiversity and human well-being in Europe. Biodiversity in urban as well as in adjacent rural areas 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.

Latest scientific findings on the impacts of climate change on European biodiversity and links to human health will be discussed. Furthermore, the implementation of nature-based solutions towards health and climate goals will be outlined. Interactive sessions will focus on case studies of successful demonstration projects and lessons learned. Resulting discussions will lead to recommendations for creating synergies between ongoing policy processes, scientific programmes and practical implementation.

The conference is part of a series of European Conferences on Biodiversity and Climate Change (ECBCC). The first conference held in Bonn in 2011, explored options to enhance communication and co-operation between science, policy and practice and identified research priorities. The second conference held in 2013, focused on adaptation of main European ecosystems and led to recommendations for climate change-adapted nature conservation in Europe. In 2015, the third conference discussed the role of nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas and their rural surroundings. As a follow up, this year’s conference will highlight the important contribution of green spaces and biodiversity to human health in a changing climate.

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 (European Commission, DG Environment, Director for Natural Capital)

- Hans Bruyninckx (Executive Director European Environmental Agency, EEA) tbc

- Cristina Romanelli (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD) tbc

- Terry Hartig (Upsala University, Sweden)

- Kevin Gaston (University of Exeter, UK)

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

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

- Thomas Elmqvist (Stockholm Resilience Centre)

- Chantal van Ham (IUCN) tbc

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 the 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 can find more information on the conference programme, keynotes/speakers, and the interactive sessions.

Early bird registration deadline: 3 April 2017 - (75,00 €)

Final registration deadline: 29 May 2017 - (110,00 €)

More information is available here.

Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (CAESAR), Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2, Bonn, Germany