We want you to know what is going on in the BOD, our meetings, our actions, members leaving, the new ones elected,... but text written in this blog cannot be taken an official position or statement of the Society for Conservation Biology. Probably it is not even an official statement of the section... as these need to be approved by the members.

Sunday, 29 March 2015


Biodiversity Theory and Practice. Zagori, Greece, 29rd June - 10th July, 2015
This school continues the series of Greek Summer Schools in Conservation Biology that began in 2008 but will be of a more quantitative nature and will focus on biodiversity. GSS-2015 will be under the aegis of the Society for Conservation Biology and of HELECOS. We aim to equip participants with an understanding of the principles of modern biodiversity theory and to teach practical skills for biodiversity fieldwork including sampling design and monitoring. Students will also learn how to use some of the main computer packages for biodiversity data analysis, mainly in the R programming environment. The duration is 12 days. The course is worth 6 ECTS and is aimed at graduate and postgraduate students; applicants with good quantitative skills are especially welcome. The fee of 700€ covers registration, food, accommodation and local transport. The number of participants is limited to 15. GSS-2015 will be held at the PALASE Field Station of the University of Ioannina in Ano Pedina. As familiarity with R is essential, we offer a special two-day refresher course (27th-28th June) prior to the start of the school for those wishing to ‘brush up’ on R. More information at the GSS website (gss.bat.uoi.gr).
Note: We are offering a number of places at a reduced (€200 instead of €700) fee. Applicants seeking such support should indicate this in their applications. Preference is given to applicants with economic difficulties. The British Ecological Society offers a number of travel grants for this course. More information.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Flamingos at “Point d’Or"

BoD trip advisor #1 to Montpellier

A less important report from BoD members in Montpellier

Tram line 3 brings you to the beach and a guarantee to see Flamingos. However, it comes with adventures if you at the same time consider going to the airport. Highways with heavy traffic blocks birdwatchers from the beach itself, if not brave enough to jump and run. The way to the airport appears deceivingly simple, maybe only 1000 m’s the way the bloody birds fly. Between the desired target (airport check in) and the birdwatchers is a boring industry area with no sidewalks. Zig-zacking through concrete buildings and parking lots takes you eventually (if lucky) to the gypsy (no offense to them!) camp and hoards of barking aggressive dogs. Some walking along the highway in the hot sun holds some promise to eventually make it to the airport entrance. At our scouting excursion the weather was nice and the spring flowers blooming, but in hot August this could potentially be the metal smelter from hell. Maybe some heat loving lizards like the place, but with 20 kilos of luggage on tow or in the rucksack this is a potential nightmare. Yet, the Flamingos are to be seen for those keen on adventures!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

SCB Europe Section Board Meeting - Montpellier

We are glad to announce that the Board of Directors of the Europe Section is holding its Board meeting with the biggest attendance ever. This is indeed an important meeting as the Board is very busy, preparing the forthcoming ICCB-ECCB in August 2015. The Board is joined by local co-workers from Agropolis and Europa, the local organizers of the conference and Nathan Spillman, coordinator of the Global SCB. Together, the group has resolved many organizational issues related to ICCB-ECCB.

The BoD in the Corum

On the first day, we had fruitful discussions and answered many of the outstanding questions about social events, student activities and keynote speakers planned for ICCB-ECCB 2015. The resulting plans will definitely lead us to an interesting, diverse and well attended conference in Montpellier, a real Mediterranean city on the seaside of South-France.

The BoD at the entrance of the Corum
On the second day, we had an onsite meeting in the heart of the city at the conference venue, Le Corum. During our meeting, we ensured that the Corum is a professional, well equipped and nice place to host plenary talks, workshops, and a hall for posters, exhibitions, career fair and other exciting programs. We managed a lot of tasks, including scheduling conference sessions, allocating rooms and finalizing review of abstracts. 

We are all having a great time in Montpellier, tasting  local cheeses and wines, and very much enjoying that the weather is turning to sunny and less windy.

BoD meeting at Agropolis in Montpellier

Monday, 12 January 2015

Strategies and tactics

The third plenary meeting of Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) started this weekend with two Stakeholder days. In these a large number of organizations met to get updated on the work of the platform and to seek coordination for the upcoming negotiations the coming week. The days were composed of many presentations (perhaps too many) and group discussions on the strategy and tactics for the Stakeholders in the upcoming negotiations. Overall the discussions were constructive and in an open and friendly atmosphere. It is clear that we all are in charge of setting the Stakeholder agenda.

From the SCB delegation we argued for several points important for securing the quality of the scientific output. This includes having a system for accepting scientific reports and the summary for policy makers that ensures the integrity of the experts involved. We also stressed the need for financial support to experts so that the most relevant experts can attend and contribute.

A joint open statement from the Stakeholders has been prepared which focus primarily on the topics related to the engagement of Stakeholders in general. We are pleased that SCB will give this statement during at the beginning of the plenary meeting.

We are looking forward to some exciting days in the service of getting this “Elephant” moving in the right direction.

On behalf of the SCB delegation at IPBES3
Bege Jonsson

Sunday, 7 December 2014




Log in to www.conbio.org and click the link to vote in the blue box on your member homepage. 

Please email info@conbio.org with any questions or concerns. 

Five board seats are open: President, President Elect, and three board member seats. The candidates are listed below. You can read more about the candidates on the voting page. 

Piero Visconti

President Elect:
Bengt Gunnar Jonsson

Board Members:
Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley
Guy Pe'er
Aidin Niamir
Stefan Schindler 

Copyright 2014 Society for Conservation Biology (SCB).

Monday, 1 December 2014

From different knowledge sytems to decision-making - congress report from Hungary

The 9th Hungarian Conference on Conservation Biology was held in Szeged between 20 and 23 November supported by the SCB Europe Section and the Hungarian Chapter. As the latest meeting of a 12-year-long congress series, this conference clearly showed some interesting and new approach and directions in conservation science in Hungary. As the first congress in Sopron (2002) covered topics from habitat management to species conservation issues, this 2,5 day-long meeting addressed among other issues the role of international conservation policies and processes (e.g. IPBES), the impacts of the EU CAP, the influence of post-normal attributes and the significance of other knowledge systems (e.g. traditional ecological knowledge) in facing conservation challenges. 

Diversity of topics and views and the increasing contribution of social scientists made this congress a progressive event with the aim to integrate different disciplines and perspectives.  Participants (more than 27o) came also from a diverse background - researchers, practitioners, national park staff, NGOs, students. 

T. Hartel at the opening talk

In his opening talk, SCB-ES Board member Tibor Hartel presented the outcomes of a complex study of socio-ecological-economical systems in Transsylvania. A rapidly changing socio-economic system with a shifting population, disappearing traditional land-use practices and a region facing the impacts of incoming CAP money and land-grabbing processes: what is the future vision for this area? This is one of the key question addressed by this transdisciplinary research.  

During the evenings round table discussions revolved around the concept of ecosystem services and its usability in conservation, bridging the gap between science and practice, wilderness areas and national park zones. Human population growth and the question of virtual and real field identification were also discussed during the evening meetings. Post-congress excursions visited the  Kiskunság National Park and the Körös-Maros National Park.

Since serious concerns have been raised by the conservation community due to the latest governmental measures, the Congress approved a statement advocating  for the integrity and autonomy of the conservation insitutions and national parks in Hungary.