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!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Candidates for "President Elect" 2008

This year we have two candidates for "President Elect" of the European Section. With this post I will try to bring this year candidates closer to section members. The "President Elect" will serve three years at the BoD, and then become the section "President" for another three years. As you can see this is an important position. Election will take place from 1 to 30 November and they will start their term on 1st January 2009. Here you have the candidates and their election statements.

András Báldi from Budapest, Hungary:

"I am committed to the development of European conservation biology. I was member of the Board of Directors of the Section (BoD) from its foundation in 2003 until the end of my second term of office in 2007. During this time one of my main roles was as Chair of the local organising committee of the 1st European Congress of Conservation Biology, Eger, 2006. I also served in the Communications Committee of the Section and in the global SCB's Conference Committee, roles in which I have continued since leaving the BoD. Having learned many lessons organising the 1st ECCB I am also involved in the organisation of the 2nd ECCB in Prague, 2009.

My plan for the coming years is to re-join the BoD as president-elect. The activity and ac
hievements of the BoD are great and I look forward to a leadership role in this dynamic group. The key points in the further development of the Section are, first, to find funding for a permanent saff and office in Europe. At the moment the BoD is working voluntarily in free time, which inevitably limits development. Second, to increase visibility and reputation of the Section, which will increase our membership. Then, we can be more actively involved in continental nature conservation policy as experts, and to the activities of the global SCB. Building mutually beneficial cooperations with other relevant European organisations will be necessary.

My main research area is on the effects of farmland management on biodiversity.
See my papers and a CV at I have one wife, three children, many friends."

Pierre Ibisch from Eberswalde, Germany:

"I envision a steady development and institutional maturing of the European Section which more and more gets involved in science-based advocacy for changes in policy, economy and the whole society. Being a biologist who was forced to get involved in many other disciplines in order to be an effective conservationist, I am deeply convinced of the concept of transciplinary work. For SCB Europe, as the only pan-European and science-based conservation organisation, I see great potential for making a difference. Our task is to show not only the consequences of current impacts to biodiversity, but also explain to society and decision makers the possible futures, based on best as well as on worst-case scenarios. Equally, we must discuss priorities for action – in and for Europe - and propose constructive solutions and effective, viable strategies.

Thus, the development of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology is an important endeavour. I got involved when I just had come back to Europe after having worked for a pretty long time in Bolivia, South America (altogether about 9 years). There, my main topics were biodiversity research, conservation science and action, as well as natural resource management and sustainable development. I was lucky to combine applied research with action (e.g., protected area management, national conservation planning, support of the national biodiversity strategy). In 2003, I eagerly accepted the invitation to work with the Policy Committee of the European section, and later to be a candidate for the Board of Directors. Having lived and worked on two continents, it is fascinating to see European biodiversity conservation from an ‘overseas’ perspective and to analyse the differences in scale, scope and approach of both problems and strategies.

After my election as member of the Board of Directors, I enjoyed working with the great people on the board who reflect the diversity of Europe, a real diversity in terms of geographical origin, disciplines, interests and strengths. I served on the Board of Directors for one term. During this term I became chair of the Policy Committee and I was member of the Scientific Committee of the first European Congress of Conservation Biology in Hungary (“Diversity for Europe”; ECCB 2006 in Eger). After being elected as dean of the Faculty of Forest and Environment of our University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde (in north-eastern Germany close to the border of Poland), due to work overload, I decided to not run for re-election. I am still participating in the Policy Committee, and I am also on the Steering Committee of the next European Congress of Conservation Biology in Prague. In this context, I try to promote issues related to the event’s and our society’s ecological footprint. Recently, I have been called to participate in a new ‘footprint committee’ of the global SCB. I feel that, as conservation society, we have to address the lifestyle question much more clearly than done by now.

I am a trained biologist with a doctoral thesis on biodiversity research (epiphytes) and a habilitation thesis on national conservation planning (Bolivia). Apart from being dean of the faculty, I am working as Chair of Nature Conservation with teaching duties especially in our international study programmes such as International Forest Ecosystem Management (B.Sc.). Some years ago I have initiated our new and innovative study programme Global Change Management (M.Sc.) that deals with issue of natural resource management and global change (mitigation of global environmental change, adaptation to unavoidable changes). I am mainly dedicated to applied sciences such as adaptive conservation management, especially in the context of global (environmental) change. Being a kind of expert of a Neotropical plant family (Bromeliaceae), from time to time, I relax with some botanical work (e.g., describing species). I am married and have three children who make me permanently worry about the quality of their future on this Earth, which is currently shaped by exponential growth of human population, resource consumption and environmental problems.
After abstaining myself from elections for the European Board of Directors (end of last year), I noticed how much I miss this opportunity of supporting a body that has a mission related to the interface of science and practice/policy. This is the reason why I accepted the new nomination to be a candidate. If elected I will reduce my workload at our faculty - this is, as I learned before, a necessary condition for an effective SCB work."
If you want to cast your vote follow this link