Beyond 2010: strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity

A scientific conference in the UK during 2010 as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity. The aim is to highlight the central role long-term studies play in addressing key biodiversity-related issues, and to explore future directions for this area of research.
When 16 Nov, 2010 11:00 AM to
17 Nov, 2010 05:30 PM
Where Natural History Museum in London, UK
Contact Name
Contact Phone +44 (0)1524 595840
Attendees Register at conference website
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Note: Conference now two days duration. Latest programme is on the conference website

Overview of conference

Human health and well-being depends on biological diversity for the maintenance of many 'ecosystem services' that deliver food, fuel, clean water and medicines, and provide for our social, cultural and spiritual needs. Yet, due largely to human actions, biodiversity has been declining around the globe, including within the terrestrial, freshwater and coastal habitats of the UK. Despite the aims of the Convention on Biological Diversity there is little evidence to suggest any decline in the rate of these losses. Biological monitoring allows not only the quantification of rates of change but, together with experimental and modelling approaches, also improves understanding of the drivers and processes of change, and allows the development of better strategies to protect biodiversity.

The UK boasts a rich history of biological and ecological surveying, monitoring and research, but very few monitoring programmes have been maintained for long enough to provide definitive data on long-term trends and provide the necessary guidance for future management. Those that have survived face an uncertain future, particularly in the current economic climate, while developments in scientific understanding and instrumentation reveal new areas of concern and opportunity where monitoring should play an important role in the future.

Through a series of talks from invited speakers this conference aims to:


  • consider current and likely future national requirements for biodiversity monitoring and research;
  • illustrate, through various case-studies, the depth and breadth of current programmes;
  • demonstrate the ways in which long-term studies have contributed to our understanding of key biodiversity-related issues;
  • review the challenges we face in improving the quality, reliability and efficiency of measurements, data collection and processing, data interoperability and analysis, and the communication of results;
  • consider the importance of maintaining incentives for the direct involvement of scientists in monitoring, while also embracing the added-value that can be provided through public involvement;
  • explore opportunities to improve monitoring capability through recent developments in science and instrumentation, and
  • consider the potential for synergies between programmes and future directions for this area of research.

In addition to oral presentations, group discussion sessions will enable delegates to pursue key issues in greater depth. On the basis of these discussions and presentations the conference will formulate recommendations for the improvement and future development of biodiversity monitoring and research in the UK and elsewhere.

Although the emphasis will be on the UK, the conference will be of international relevance, since many of the issues to be discussed are essentially global and often the solutions require international cooperation.

Further details

Further information is avaiable on the ECN website (link below) or by contacting Dr Andrew Sier, CEH, e-mail:, tel: +44 (0)1524 595840

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