Changes in land and sea use, overexploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species mean that nature is rapidly disappearing, posing significant challenges to human and ecosystem health. Nature is as important to our mental and physical well-being as it is to our society’s ability to cope with global change, health threats and disasters. Protecting and restoring biodiversity and functioning ecosystems is therefore essential to building our resilience. The call for transformative change is an absolute necessity to halt and eventually overcome the biodiversity and climate crisis. This is now recognised and integrated into many member states and EU’s biodiversity strategies, as well as at the global level by IPBES and the CBD.
Where and why do the benefits of biodiversity for ecological and human health arise and how can they be achieved? How and where can transformative change enable these benefits, including ensuring justice and equity? How can human-nature health solutions be developed? How can the adoption of these transformative biodiversity and human health solutions by society and communities be achieved, for example by transforming food systems?
The Alternet 2022 conference aims to address these questions by focusing on what interdisciplinary biodiversity research can contribute to the transformative change agenda in biodiversity and health. It will offer new perspectives on research and policy as well as practice, highlight information needs and develop partnerships to advance our knowledge on biodiversity and health.
Given the breadth and depth of current and impending crises and the links between human health and biodiversity, it is time for a radical transformation of socio-ecological structures towards a vision of sustainability and resilience – one that enhances the well-being of humans and the biosphere as a whole. Mobilising scientific research, interdisciplinarity and co-construction with stakeholders and decision-makers is the way forward.
Alternet bridges disciplines and connects science and policy to the challenges of societal sustainability because we believe that the greatest innovation for societal impact can be achieved by science through unusual collaborations in practice.
Who attended this event?
Contributors and attendees included researchers, scientists, decision-makers, and practitioners of all disciplines, including key personnel from Europe’s science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services.