International conference of the BIOMOT research consortium

Beyond economic valuation. Alternative ways to express the value of biodiversity in science and policy.


24-25 March 2014: International conference (Natural Science Museum, Brussels)

Keynote speakers

- Birgit de Boissezon, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
- Joachim Spangenberg, Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany
- Linda Steg, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands
- Arild Vatn, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
- Sofie Vandewoestijne, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
- Strahil Christov,DG Environment, European Commission
- Annica Sandström, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
- Dolly Jørgensen, Umeå University, Sweden
- Nico Beun, Innovation Network

Background and rationale

The EU FP7 project BIOMOT in collaboration with the BIOGOV unit of the Université catholique de Louvain have organized an international conference the 24th and 25th of March 2014 in Brussels on alternative ways to express the value of biodiversity in science and policy.

This conference discussed up to date research on building and sustaining motivation to act for biodiversity by combining (1) high level key note presentations, (2) panel sessions with high level EU officials and (3) presentation of a major comparative study on motivations for biodiversity in over 70 case studies analysed through semi-structured and life story interviews in 7 EU countries in the BIOMOT project. We aim at using these results to help improve environmental policy-making at local, regional, national and EU levels.

A variety of initiatives and policies have been proposed that are going beyond “economic valuation”, and aim to reveal more effectively the broad range of biodiversity values that motivate actors and involve stakeholders promoting these values. Prominent methods that have grown in importance for revealing biodiversity values are participatory assessment and scenario building or deliberative multi-stakeholder meeting amongst others. Various governance arrangements that build networks of state and non-state collective actors in implementing biodiversity policies have equally come to forefront of the policy debate.

The conference brought together leading people from a number of international scientific research communities, senior science policy advisors, stakeholders and practitioners, to discuss the rationale and practical feasibility of these innovative institutional governance arrangements, in the field of natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.

The event aimed at making a major contribution to these proposals’ conceptual foundations from a broad interdisciplinary perspective and to analyse the role of participation of stakeholders and practitioners in research on biodiversity values and policy implementation. But it is equally important to devise appropriate, contextually relevant, methods of assessing the effectiveness of these new participatory and deliberative methods for expressing biodiversity values, and identifying likely unintended and dysfunctional outcomes.

Local organizer

BIOGOV Unit, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Logistics Contact person : Caroline Van Schendel

Scientific Contact person: Tom Dedeurwaerdere

International Scientific Committee

Wouter De Groot (Chair), Radboud University, Netherlands

Marino Bonaiuto, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Luuk Knippenberg, Radboud University, Netherlands

John O’Neill, University of Manchester, UK

Focal partnership

Besafe project (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Arguments for our Future Environment)

Coordinator: Bob Bugter, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands