Bridging the science-policy interface in Wales

Promoting ecosystem resilience, encouraging interaction between academics and local authorities, supporting young taxonomists and Welsh biodiversity networks – these are just a few of the ideas to have arisen from the BES Wales Policy Group’s inaugural event.

15 November 2017 saw the launch of the BES Wales Policy Group’s activities with its inaugural event at Cardiff University on bridging the science-policy interface in Wales. This event brought together a multitude of Welsh environmental stakeholders from across the country including representatives from Welsh Government, conservation charities, Wildlife Trusts, National Park Authorities and government sponsored bodies. There was also nationwide representation from academic institutions, with academics present from Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea and Aberystwyth University to take part in the discussions.

The BES Wales Policy Group has recently been established with the aim of bringing scientists and policymakers together to discuss environmental policy in Wales. At this event, attendees were asked to contribute their thoughts and opinions to help shape the structure and remit of the group, and to brainstorm how the group can best go about achieving its aims and objectives. Four key questions helped to stimulate the discussions:

  1. What role should the BES Wales Policy Group play in supporting improved collaboration between ecologists and policymakers in Wales?
  2. What format should the group take to ensure it is beneficial and effective across Wales?
  3. What are the main barriers in engaging policymakers and the academic community in Wales?
  4. What topics and issues would you like to see the Wales Policy Group cover?

The discussions were lively and fruitful, and touched upon a diverse range of national and local level topics. It was fantastic to hear views from such a diverse range of stakeholders, and great to see all participants engaging eagerly in the discussions. Policy is an essential part of promoting ecology and it is evident that this is firmly on the agenda for many parties in Wales! The event provided an excellent opportunity for networking and establishing new collaborations, and it was very promising to hear that attendees thought a Welsh Policy Group such as this would pay dividends in future.

To keep up to date with the latest news and information, and for full details about the group and how to get involved, please visit our webpage and join our mailing list.
If you are elsewhere in the UK and would like to be involved in the British Ecological Society’s policy work, please visit the policy page on the BES website. Consider joining one of our policy networks and make sure to let us know your expertise so that we can get in touch with you about relevant opportunities.