The goal is to identify science-based solutions for global sustainability focusing on the issues of biodiversity and food security. Current ecological, economic and societal challenges for development require a holistic understanding of food security and environmental management: from this perspective, biodiversity can be seen as key to overcome trade-offs and to develop synergies between the food system and the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, and species. The conference seeks to attract scientists from basic and applied research. It involves policy makers and other stakeholders concerned with biodiversity and food security themes who are interested in developing new solutions and strategies. It will connect researchers and stakeholders from natural sciences, social sciences, economics, humanities, technology and related fields.
Across scales from genes to species, landscapes and biomes, biodiversity is an important resource for humanity. It is the key for a broad range of services provided by ecosystems. Biodiversity helps regulate the nutrient cycle, water (e.g. floods) and mitigates impacts of climate change. Biodiversity is also of direct importance for human well-being and for cultural and other values including recreation. The provisioning of clean water and diverse food supply makes it vital for all people.
Biodiversity at all levels, including the diversity of genes, species and ecosystems, is lost at alarming rates. Critical factors for these trends are habitat destruction, global warming and the uncontrolled spread of alien species. Pollution, nitrogen deposition and shifts in precipitation further affect biodiversity.
Food security faces significant challenges due to population growth, poverty, globalization, climate change and other factors. Supplying healthy food to all citizens is crucial for global development - to reach it, not only food production but also equitable access to food for all people must be improved substantially. Biodiversity loss and global food security are hence two major challenges of our time. Linking these two areas from a research perspective, and seeking synergies between them is likely to generate multiple benefits for social, ecological and economic development.
Set near the historical city centre of Aix-en-Provence, the conference will include key note presentations from leading experts, interactive workshops and poster presentations.