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'Beyond 2010' conference report

Report of the conference Beyond 2010: strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity, London, November 2010
Reference

Sier, A.R.J., Monteith, D. and Brooks, S. (2011) Beyond 2010: Strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity: Conference report. 42pp (unpublished report)

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Final report of the conference Beyond 2010: strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity, co-organised by ECN, CEH and the Natural History Museum in November 2010. Features summaries of the presentations and workshop discussion sessions and an overview of key points arising from the conference.

Executive Summary

  1. The conference Beyond 2010: Strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity aimed 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.
  2. The UK has a rich history of long-term biodiversity monitoring and research in marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments, complemented by Natural History collections in museums, zoos, botanic gardens, herbaria, culture collections and biological resource centres. The estimated investment in biosphere monitoring is over £82 million.
  3. Data are generated by a variety of programmes, some run by professionals, others by voluntary groups and amateurs covering a wide range of taxa and ecosystems and various temporal and spatial scales. Increasingly data are generated by participatory schemes, enabling non-experts to take part.
  4. There are many policy and management requirements for evidence from long-term biodiversity monitoring and research, including compliance with European Directives. Long-term studies have helped inform and assess policy decisions in a number of areas. In other cases the potential application of existing long-term datasets has yet to be fully realised. In some areas, data on long term change in biodiversity parameters is lacking and represents significant evidence gaps.
  5. Future biodiversity monitoring must link biological observations more clearly to pressures and to ecosystem functions and processes. Such information is perceived to be critical if the UK is going to be able to address the “Ecosystem Services” element of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP10 strategic vision.
  6. Currently there is no implemented UK strategy with respect to biodiversity monitoring. Most schemes operate in isolation. This lack of integration risks inefficient use of national resources, with respect to potential duplication of effort, and problems associated with data accessibility and data management.
  7. Biodiversity monitoring and research faces the prospect of reduced funding. This is a particular concern for long-term monitoring programmes, which may be stopped or forced to modify their monitoring methods. Decisions concerning the funding of long-term programmes need to take into account the future consequences of terminating long-running time series of data.
  8. The majority of delegates felt that a more integrated framework of UK biodiversity monitoring is required, though opinions varied on how such integration should be achieved.
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