We hold a wide range of events bringing together ecologists and policymakers, from large-scale conferences to panel debates and focused workshops.
Scottish Policy Group Training Workshop
Presentations from the 'Understanding the science-policy interface in Scotland' training workshop
(6 MB pdf)
Our workshop on ‘Understanding the science-policy interface in Scotland’ started with an introduction from Ben Connor (BES Policy Manager) to the format of the day and the BES Policy Team. Professor Rob Brooker then introduced the Scottish Policy Group and set out how BES members can get involved with the group and Scottish Policy.
Tom Edwards (Policy Specialist at Scottish Wildlife Trust and Director of 3E Services) was the first panellist to speak and he provided an introduction to policy, the processes and structures in Scotland, and who makes policy. Former MSP and Environment Minister Sarah Boyack followed to provide the insider’s perspective to policy making and to give an understanding what it’s like to be a policy customer. Dr Debbie Bassett (Biodiversity Strategy Manager at Scottish National Heritage) gave an agency’s view of giving scientific advice to Government, focusing on what policymakers are looking for from scientists as well as setting out who the policymakers are. The final panellist we heard from was Rhea Cris (RSPB Parliamentary Officer) who spoke about how to influence policy and how best to get your message across. After the panel discussion and lunch, we put the lessons learnt from the morning talks into action by dividing participants into groups to write a Ministerial brief based on a journal paper supplied to each group.
Read Rick Parfett’s blog post from the workshop
Protected Areas and beyond PAAP write up
A write up from the Scottish Policy Group's Pie and a Pint event looking at the future of protected areas in Scotland
(395 kB pdf)
On 20th April 2016 the British Ecological Society’s Scottish Policy Group ran a ‘Pie and a Pint’ (PAAP) event on the topic “Beyond Protected Areas”. The document presented here is a note of the main themes and points raised during the evening’s PAAP discussion; it is not a minute of the meeting but hopefully accurately captures the balance of ideas and opinions presented.
The event started with introductory thoughts from four speakers:
- Adam Smith – Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Director in Scotland
- Davy McCracken – SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) Professor of Agricultural Ecology
- Andrew Bauer – National Farmers Union Scotland, Deputy director for policy
- Lloyd Austin – Head of Conservation Policy for the RSPB in Scotland.
Following on from the presentations, the attendees split into four groups; the four speakers rotated between the groups every 10 minutes. The discussion from each group is written up in the report note.
Making a difference in conservation: Improving the links between ecological research, policy and practice
A joint British Ecological Society and Cambridge Conservation Initiative Symposium
(199 kB pdf)
This symposium brought 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 aimed to enable delegates to get greater impact from their research, and to improve policies and practice.
- Revisit the event on Storify
- Read blog posts from Camilla Morrison-Bell, Ruth Mitchell, Alice Plane, Paul Sinnadurai
Symposium report by Clive Mitchell (Scottish Natural Heritage) and Juliette Young (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
The BES GM debate
Public debate held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh as part of the 2015 BES Annual Meeting
(64 kB pdf)
At our 2015 Annual Meeting, we held a public debate on GM crops, with speakers Pete Ritchie (Nourish Scotland), Helen Sang (Roslin Insitute), Joyce Tait (Innogen Institute), Rob Livesey (NFU Scotland) and Heather Ferguson (University of Glasgow). Chaired by Alan Gray (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).
Report by Amy Fensome, Policy Intern
Do ecosystem approaches deliver for biodiversity conservation?
A joint workshop of the BES Scottish Policy Group, External Affairs Team and the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy’s Science and Technical Group.
(175 kB pdf)
Our workshop at the 2016 Annual Meeting explored the tensions between biodiversity conservation and a focus on ecosystem services, in the context of Scotland’s 2020 Challenge for Biodiversity.
Workshop report by Rob Brooker (James Hutton Institute, Secretary, BES Scottish Policy Group)
People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions
Our pre-election political debate, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby
(109 kB pdf)
Hosted by The Sibthorp Trust, The British Ecological Society and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions brought together a panel of leading politicians to debate their environmental policies ahead of the 2015 UK general election, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby.
The panellists were:
- Lord de Mauley TD (Conservatives, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Natural Environment and Science)
- Barry Gardiner MP (Labour, MP for Brent North and Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment)
- Baroness Parminter (Liberal Democrats, Environment Spokesperson)
- Natalie Bennett (Green, Party Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Holborn and St. Pancras)
- Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP (Scottish National Party, MP for Banff and Buchan)
- William Cash (UK Independence Party, Heritage and Tourism Spokesperson)
Event report by Ben Connor, Policy Manager
Valuing our life support systems
The second Natural Capital Initiative Summit
(6 MB pdf)
The second Natural Capital Initiative summit aimed to:
- Derive a common understanding of what natural capital really means
- Understand in plain language the natural and social science behind it
- Find and demonstrate ways in which sectors and initiatives can work, and are working, together to apply it
- Identify ways of ensuring that practical responses have scientific rigour
- Communicate recommendations for ways forward across the sectors.
All presentations and videos from the summit are available on the Natural Capital Initiative website
Summit report by the Natural Capital Initiative
Scottish Biodiversity Science conference
A joint conference of the Scottish Policy Group, CIEEM and the Science and Technical Group of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy
(125 kB pdf)
The second Scottish Biodiversity Science conference focused on the theme of Monitoring in action.
All presentations from the conference can be downloaded from the Biodiversity Scotland website.
Scottish Policy Group horizon scanning meeting
Members of the BES Scottish Policy Group, staff from the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage, convened to discuss emerging issues with implications for both research and policy.
(363 kB pdf)
The Scottish Policy Group horizon-scanning workshop brought together policy colleagues and members to informally discuss research and policy gaps in selected topic areas.
Top 10 tips for effectively engaging and communicating with policymakers
Policy Training workshop
(156 kB pdf)
Our training workshop enabled participants to generate an understanding of the UK policy environment and equip them with the appropriate skills to effectively communicate their science to policymakers.
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