"Students from a remote part of Nepal learned about forest ecology with the support of the BES Innovation and Research grants"

Jyoti Bhandari BES Grant winner 2009

2016 Annual Symposium

2016 Joint BES and CCI Annual Symposium
Making a Difference in Conservation: Improving the Links Between Ecological Research, Policy and Practice
April 11 – 13 2016,

Registration is now closed as the symposium is full.

Download the BES/CCI Delegate Information

We are delighted to announce our first symposium will be in Cambridge in April.

This meeting is held jointly with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, along with support from DICE, the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science and Conservation Evidence. The meeting will be held at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, as part of its launch in April 2016. The building provides a hub for the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, and houses nine leading international conservation organisations and networks currently based in the Cambridge area.

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This meeting aims to bring together the ecological research community and those involved in policy and government, to assess the value and applicability of a range of techniques for improving the decision making process. By working together, we aim to enable delegates to get greater impact from their research, and to improve policies and practice.


Monday 11th April

Time Session
13.00-14.00 Registration
14.00-14.10 Introduction; William Sutherland (University of Cambridge)
14.10-14.35 What is the problem with current processes?  Chair: Andy Clements (BTO and Natural England) 
What do policy makers want from scientists?  Ian Boyd (Chief Scientist, Defra)

Barriers to achieving effective science-policy exchange and possible solutions. Chair Andy Clements. Georgina Mace (University College London), Des Thompson (Scottish Natural Heritage), Susan Owens (University of Cambridge), Gemma Harper (Defra), Andrew Miller (former Chair, Science and Technology Select Committee).

15.20-15.55 BREAK
15.55-16.50 Identifying priorities for policy and practice Chair: Stuart Butchart (Birdlife International)
Horizon scanning – what methods are available and what are the main environmental issues on the horizon? Bonnie Wintle (Centre for the Study of Existential Risk)
Using horizon scanning to change policy – Polar science and practice. Mahlon Kennicutt (Texas A&M University)

John Beddington ‘Emergencies, Evidence and Policy’

Chair: Bhaskar Vira (University of Cambridge)

Non-delegates: register now


Posters welcome on any ecological topic.

Welcome from hosts: Zoe Davies (DICE University of Kent) and Mike Rands (CCI)


Tuesday 12th April

Time Session
8.00-9.00 Registration
9.00-9.50 Generating the evidence Chair: Richard Jenkins (IUCN)
  Collection of evidence by practitioners. Malcolm Ausden (RSPB)
  Improving methods for evidence collection. EJ Milner-Gulland (University of Oxford)
9.50-10.40 Evaluating and synthesising evidence Chair: Roger Mitchell. (Cambridge Conservation Forum)

How can different sorts of evidence be collated, synthesised and presented?

Testing and collating the global evidence for practitioners- experience from bats. John Altringham (University of Leeds)
Using systematic review and evidence synthesis to inform decision-making. Andrew Pullin (University of Bangor)
10.40-11.20 BREAK
11.20 -1.00 Collating evidence Chair:Rosalind Aveling (Fauna & Flora International)
Collating evidence for use by practitioners: improving assessments and decision support systems. Lynn Dicks (University of Cambridge)
When do we just act and when do we need more research? Determining the value of information. Hugh Possingham (University of Queensland).
Bringing the natural environment into economic decision making. Ian Bateman (University of Exeter)
Engaging the public in decision making. Lynn Frewer (University of Newcastle)
13.00-14.00 LUNCH
14.00-15.45 WORKSHOPS:

–        Engaging with policy makers: the demand side. Gary Kass (Deputy CSA, Defra and Deputy Chief Scientist, Natural England), Dr Miles Parker OBE (former Deputy CSA, Defra), Dr Clare Moran (CSaP, University of Cambridge).

–        Demystifying the science-policy interface. British Ecological Society Policy Team.

–        When is it a good idea to use structured decision making and when isn’t it? Hugh Possingham (University of Queensland)

–        Social media and the science/policy interface. Nathalie Pettorelli. (ZSL)

–        Maximizing the policy impact of scientific research. Andrew Sugden (Science), and Marc Cadotte (Journal of Applied Ecology) with Sarah Durant (ZSL).

15.45-16.15 BREAK
16.15-18.00 WORKSHOPS:

–        How to use experts more effectively – Delphi and related techniques. Mark Burgmann (University of Melbourne), Nibedita Mukherjee & William Sutherland (University of Cambridge)

–        How Parliament works and how to influence it Julian Huppert, (Cambridge University and former Cambridge MP).

–        Evidence-based conservation: use and limitations of systematic reviews, synopses and assessments. Neal Haddaway (MISTRA EviEM) and Rebecca Smith (University of Cambridge)

–        Creating infographics for conservation messages. Tris Allinson  (Birdlife International)

–       Exploring causal linkages between social and environmental outcomes. Pete Brotherton (Natural England)



Wednesday 13th April

Time Session
8.00-9.00 Registration
9.00-10.40 Public involvement Chair: Neville Ash (UNEP-WCMC)
  Campaigning to bring about change. Serah Munguti (Nature Kenya)
  Role of the media in influencing policy. Fiona Fox (Science Media Centre)
  Contributions of Indigenous and local knowledge in policy and decision making for enhanced ecosystem governance. Pernilla Malmer (Stockholm Resilience Centre)
 10.20-11.00  BREAK
11.00 -1.00 Making decisions Chair: Rosie Trevelyan (Tropical Biological Association)
Open decision making in a world of open access, citizen science and big data. Lucy Bastin (Aston University)
Is it possible to be an evidence honest broker? Lessons from the Oxford Martin School Restatements Project. Charles Godfray and Angela McLean  (University of Oxford)
Assessing and responding to uncertainty and risk. Rob Freckleton (University of Sheffield)
Approaches to conflict resolution. Juliette Young (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)
Social decision making. Andy Stirling (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)
13.00-14.00 LUNCH
14.00-15.40 Making a difference Chair: Steve Broad (TRAFFIC)
Nudging: changing behaviour for environmental benefits. Elisabeth Costa (Behavioural Insights Team)
Using conventions to bring about change. Nicola Crockford (RSPB)
Protecting biodiversity when human behaviour matters: the role of social marketing in conservation. Bob Smith (DICE, University of Kent)
Shared governance as a means of providing advice. Mark Burgman (University Melbourne)
15.40-16.05 BREAK
16.05-16.45 Future directions

Chair: Juliet Vickery (RSPB)

2-minute accounts of future directions with reflection on how they will apply the ideas from the conference followed by input from the audience. Jonathan Spencer (Forestry Commission), Rosie Woodroffe (Zoological Society of London) Andrew Slade (Welsh Government), Victoria Robb (HM Treasury), Kathryn Monk (Natural Resources Wales), Peter Brotherton (Natural England)



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