The goal of our Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Europe Section Blog is to share stories and relevant information about activities going on within our section and more broadly in the conservation community. Stories and articles shared on our blog should not be taken as an official position or statement of SCB or SCB Europe Section. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Narrowing the gap between conservation practice and theory, discliplines and stakeholders – 26th ICCB, Baltimore

With the opening ceremony in the evening of 21st July, the 2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) officially began. "Connecting systems, disciplines and stakeholders" is the focal topic of the 26th ICCB with the apparent  aim to provide insights to numerous integrating and multi-disciplinary conservation research projects.

During the Monday morning sessions,  a symposium addressed the role of social network analysis in conservation management. While social network analysis is a few decade-old concept in social sciences, it has not been discovered by conservation biology until now. Recent advancements in researches applying this framework has been presented during the talks, showing the possible potentials in including social network dimension into conservation planning.

Barbara Mihok, section coordinator at the section booth day
Another symposium revolved around conservation conflicts and the complex system approaches to reveal them, citing cross-disciplinary research examples and measures. Integrating conservation research and practice  was also the central theme for a further sesseion. Titled as :"Stepping out of the Ivory Tower”, Drew Tyre from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln gave an entertaining speech on the obstacles for academics in doing  policy – or practice-related activities, claiming that the most important hindering factor was institutional support. Kelly Biedenweg, representative of the Natural Capital Project talked about the special role of her bridge-building organization enhancing collaboration between scientists and practitioners.

Restoration ecology, conservation planning, ecosystem service…an overwhelming number of further issues addressed by different sessions in 10 parallel slots. It is clearly a widely contributed congress, although European topics and authors are not too abundant.

Beside the scientific program, the congress gives place to numerous society-related events, section and chapter meetings, working group sessions and society award celebrations. President Paul Beier is stepping down and the new president, Rodrigo Medellin greeted the audience in the opening ceremony. Anne Hummer also leaves the executive office, and Geri Unger, the new ED has been introduced during the congress – well, that’s quite a busy spot to start…

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