Impact and Action: A Virtual Science-Policy Symposium

GBIF Symposium

Online, 9 December 2021. Impact and Action is a virtual science-policy symposium co-hosted by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the US National Science Foundation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), examining how we strengthen and consolidate scientific impact in the next two decades and beyond. The interconnected challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change have increased both the requirements and the pressing need for data to inform research and policy decisions, making GBIF’s mission more urgent than ever.


During a two-hour programme on Thursday, 9 December 2021, experts will examine the role and needs of the biodiversity data ecosystem in supporting progress across key issues, innovations, and policy priorities. Themes will include conservation, food security, health, the evolution of emerging sciences and technologies, and the science-policy interface, with a Q&A panel to conclude.

The symposium offers a unique opportunity for scientists, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to understand the previous successes and coming challenges as GBIF prepares its next strategic framework. As a precursor to a series of stakeholder consultations in the coming year, the symposium and the outcomes of its discussions will inform policies and research approaches aimed at expanding and sharing knowledge and benefits associated with biodiversity data.

Register here.



San Sebastian, Spain, 5–8 September 2022. ECSA 59 will bring together a global multi-disciplinary community of researchers, educators and practitioners to address issues of outstanding importance in the science (both natural and social) and management of estuaries and coastal seas in this rapidly changing world.

Estuaries and coastal seas are facing pressures coming from human activities, which result in habitats and biodiversity loss, introduction of invasive species, input of different types of pollutants (i.e., organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, noise, light, etc.), overexploitation of resources and impairment of marine health status. This compromises the capacity of delivering ecosystem services and human benefits. On top of these effects, global change is dramatically modifying the structure and functioning of marine systems. To reverse this situation, implementation of management measures, rooted in the best scientific knowledge possible, are needed. 

Identifying such measures requires long-term monitoring based on the ecosystem-based approach. This should be done through international collaboration (e.g. within the UN Decade of the Oceans, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, etc.), with the participation of multidisciplinary teams, using novel monitoring, analysis and assessment tools, including multiple origin data sources, and going towards open science. This can help to manage the activities that we are doing at estuaries and coastal seas, and consequently, contribute to achieving sustainable seas and marine resources. 

Proposed Conference Topics

The abstract submission system will open on 10 January 2022. 

Abstract submission deadline: 1 April 2022

Changing physical settings and processes

  • Coastal morphodynamics affected by engineering structures and sea-level rise
  • From measuring to modelling hydro- and sediment dynamics
  • Impact of extreme events on coastal systems
  • Monitoring with coastal ocean observing systems

Biogeochemical processes and fluxes at the land – sea interface

  • Biogeochemical processes and fluxes at the land – sea interface
  • From catchment to coast: effects of land use change and hydrological regulations
  • Carbon and nitrogen cycling in benthic and pelagic ecosystems
  • Impact of ocean acidification on coastal systems
  • Blue carbon: assessing the role and carbon storage potential of coastal wetlands, seaweeds and seagrasses

Shifting ecosystem structures and functions

  • The effects of restoration on biodiversity and ecosystem services 
  • Role of functional and response diversity to changes for ecosystem resilience
  • Linkages between estuaries, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs
  • Stress responses and resilience: from molecular to ecosystem level

The human dimension: impact, management, governance

  • Resource use patterns and management and implications for the environment
  • Participatory management approaches in coastal zone management
  • Decision support tools and approaches for sustainable marine and coastal spatial planning
  • Assessing marine ecosystem services
  • Governing the commons: institutions for the Marine Governance 
  • Science communication, citizen science and ocean literacy

GEO Week 2021

GEO Week 2021

Online, 22–26 November 2021. GEO has been focused on the use of Earth observations (EO) for environmental and societal impact for many years, however this year is one of the most important with major milestones linked to global policy agendas. The United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), there is also the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. These all bring a new set of challenges and opportunities for the international EO community. During GEO Week 2021, we will present the multidisciplinary activities of the GEO Work Programme that address these areas. Notably through the lens of nexus thinking to highlight how the use of EO in different sectors contributes to these efforts and why integration across thematic areas is essential.

This online event will include the GEO-17 Plenary, anchor sessions and side events, as well as a youth track and an industry track. Time will be scheduled each day for virtual networking. The 56th Executive Committee will be held as a closed meeting on Monday 22 November.

GEO-17 Plenary

The GEO-17 Plenary Session will be held 23–26 November.


Plenary sessions will be broadcasted live and the session recordings will be made available afterwards. We hope to receive all delegation nominations before the start of Plenary-17.

Anchor Sessions and Side Events

These virtual, interactive events will take place throughout the week and aim to address the various aspects of the GEO work programme, as well as the nexus possibilities across activities. Recordings of the sessions will be made available on the GEO website. Side events are now closed.


Member statements will be made available on the GEO Week website on 23 November. The call for statements was published in July 2021.

Session descriptions

Opening Session: The first part of the GEO Week where all attendees will be provided with an overview of all planned activities, including welcome speeches and a keynote speech to set the tone for the week.

Plenary Sessions: Under the banner of Accelerating Action in GEO, a series of sessions will look at the GEO Work Programme, in particular progress on the GEO Engagement Priorities and the activities of the GEO Working Groups.

Anchor Sessions: These are the main events designed by GEO week 2021 organisers to explain the multidisciplinary nature of GEO through the concept of nexus thinking. Working on multiple topics simultaneously is essential in today’s rapidly changing environmental and social conditions. For example, work in one area will have a knock-on effect or impact in another area, including synergies and trade-offs. These events are linked to the global policy agendas that underpin most of GEO’s work.

Side Events: The side events highlight the activities of the GEO community engaged in the GEO work programme,including progress since the last meetings and plans for the upcoming period. Each session will last 50 minutes.

Virtual Networking: Breaks between sessions will provide an opportunity for attendees to meet and discuss GEO Week topics. This networking will take place in a separate, dedicated room.

More information here.

SFE2, GFÖ & EEF Joint Meeting

Metz Ecology & Evolution

Metz, France, 21–25 November 2022. During the last century, a period now known as the Anthropocene, ecologists and evolutionists alerted the Society to several major environmental crises such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution of the environment. In response, scientists throughout the world have joined forces to not only identify and explain these phenomena but to develop tools that may help to solve these major environmental issues! However, there remain many open questions related to new challenges, new perspectives, and possibly new solutions, all of which need to be discussed within the scientific community and between scientists and policy makers. 

We propose to gather with you, the acting scientists in the field of ecology and evolution, at the SFE2-GfÖ-EEF joint meeting “Ecology & Evolution: New perspectives and societal challenges“. It is being organised by the LIEC (University of Lorraine, CNRS) and other labs in northeastern France working in the fields of ecology and evolution. We anticipate a large gathering of scientists, cutting edge researchers, science policy makers, and leading teachers from Europe and elsewhere.

Click here for more information.

LifeWatch Biodiversity Day 2021

LifeWatch Biodiversity Day

Ghent, Belgium, 28 October 2021.

Venue: VAC (Virginie Lovelinggebouw), Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 70, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Join us on 28 October 2021 for the first LifeWatch Biodiversity Day, a new inspiring event on biodiversity. This year’s theme is biologging and camera trapping: a technology that changed the world of animal research. #LifeWatchBD21

Please see the LifeWatch Belgium website for further information.

XXX° Rassegna del mare | 30th Festival of the Sea

Rassegna del mare 2021

Gallipoli, Italy, 21–24 October 2021. The 30th edition of the Festival of the Sea (XXX° Rassegna del mare), “Recognition & protection of the sea and marine resource management” will be held in the Sala Ennagonale of Gallipoli’s Castello Angioino at the end of October, featuring presentations from LifeWatch ERIC staff.

ENVRI Community International School 2021: Services for FAIRness

Services for FAIRness

Online, 27 September – 8 October 2021.

Organised by ENVRI-FAIR and LifeWatch ERIC, the ENVRI Community International School is at its fourth edition, having established itself as an unmissable opportunity to learn about FAIRness in the framework of Research Infrastructures. Having gone into depth on data FAIRness and data management during previous editions, this year the School will focus on Services for FAIRness, from their design to their development and publication.

For further information, regarding the programme, trainers and more, please visite our dedicated minsite.

Do you want to know more about the School?

Check out the previous editions at the following links:

2020 ENVRI Community International Winter School on DATA FAIRness

2019 ENVRI Community International Summer School on DATA FAIRness

2018 ENVRI International Summer School “Data Management in Environmental & Earth Science Infrastructures: Theory & Practice”

COP26 – Uniting the World to Tackle Climate Change

"The climate has no borders" over the image of the top half of the Earth, in the style designed for COP26.

Glasgow, 1–12 November 2021. The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. The COP26 summit, organised in partnership with Italy, will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Convention on Climate Change.

The United Kingdom is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26. There are concrete suggestions on how people can get involved in preparations. Italy will be hosting a number of key preparatory events such as a Youth Event and the Pre-COP Summit, which will be held in Milan from 30 September – 2 October 2021. See here for updates from the Italian Ministry of the Environment.  

TDWG 2021 Conference

TDWG 2021

Virtual, 18-22 October, 2021. The Taxonomy Database Working Group 2021 Conference, ‘Connecting the world of biodiversity data: standards uniting people, processes, and tools’

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International Summer School

Lecce, Italy, 9-13 July 2018.  The International Summer School on “Data Management in Environmental and Earth Science Infrastructures: theory and practice” is organised by the ENVRIplus project in collaboration with LifeWatch ERIC. The school is mainly addressed at staff working in relevant international research infrastructures. The school is also open to Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers, and Master students about to start a doctorate will also be accepted.

In recent years, one of the major challenges in the Environmental and Earth Science has been managing and searching ever larger volumes of data, collected across multiple disciplines. The ENVRIplus project investigated a collection of more than 20 representative environmental research infrastructures (RIs) from different areas. By examining these research infrastructures and their characteristics, a common data lifecycle was identified. The data lifecycle is structured in five phases: Data Acquisition, Data Curation, Data Publishing, Data Processing and Data Use. Many different standards, approaches, and tools have been developed to support the Data Lifecycle. In particular, modern semantic technologies provide a promising way to properly describe and interrelate different data sources in ways that reduce barriers to data discovery, integration, and exchange among biodiversity and ecosystem resources and researchers.

The course is built as a five-day summer school providing a unique insight into the contemporary debate on Data Management in the environmental and earth sciences.  Leading scientists and experienced technical specialists will address this topic from different angles, attempting to gather what we consider the most interesting perspectives of our time. We offer a cutting edge and high-quality programme, aimed at fostering a rich and lively intellectual exchange.