European workshop LIFE ALISTER

nature hamster

Integrating biodiversity protection and socio-economic development: issues and options

February 28th, 2019

Bureau Europe Grand Est – 15, rue du Luxembourg  B – 1000 Brussels

Biodiversity remains today strongly impacted and degraded by human activities, despite national, European and international regulatory frameworks that promote the protection of an increasing number of species, habitats and ecosystem types – and of biodiversity overall.  The state and health of ecosystems remain fragile, and species and habitats continue to be lost every day as a result of farming practices, the development of transport infrastructure, urban development, tourism, climate change…. The simplification of the landscape in many rural areas, combined with the pressures imposed (directly or indirectly) by mankind remains a high priority concern in Europe. Past (decreasing) trends in the population of the European Hamster in the Alsace plain is one example among many endangered species that might disappear as a result of the multiple pressures that are imposed on the European Hamster and on its habitats.

Approaches for protecting biodiversity can build on:

  • establishing “protected areas” within which human activities are strongly regulated (or banned); or
  • integrating biodiversity protection needs into the practices, investments and processes of human activities so as to ensure an adequate functioning of ecosystems for responding to the needs of species.

nature / machine

The second approach, potentially more challenging in the short term as requiring “changes in perception/practice/behavior” at relevant territorial scales, might however be more promising in the medium to long term.

In this context, the partners of the LIFE + Alister project are organizing an European workshop which objectives are the following:

Objective 1 – Which solutions that « account for » the functioning of ecosystems and the needs of species can be implemented by economic operators and land planning actors? And what are the pre-conditions for ensuring these solutions are implemented and effective?

Objective 2 – Which opportunities in the existing European (biodiversity & socio-economic) regulatory framework can be seized – or adaptation in the framework proposed – so as to strengthen the integration of biodiversity protection into socio-economic development?

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