Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change – Conference

Published on:

Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change

Challenges, opportunities and evidence gaps

27-29 June 2017, Bonn/Germany

Conference website

European Conference hosted by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the European Network of Heads of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) in co-operation with the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) / German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

Climate change poses significant challenges to biodiversity and human well-being in Europe. As the majority of Europeans live in urban areas and cities are often subject to exacerbated heat island effects, consequences of climate change may be experienced first in urban settings. Biodiversity in urban as well as in adjacent rural areas, in turn, can provide health and climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits that can be actively fostered by nature-based solutions.

This joint European conference in Bonn will bring together experts from science, policy and practice to highlight and discuss the importance of biodiversity’s contribution to human health in the face of climate change. In this context health is considered in its physical, psychological and social dimension, including socio-environmental equity. The aim of the conference is to increase knowledge, share experiences and foster nature-based solutions to meet the challenges of climate change and health issues.

The conference is divided into three main areas (day 1: science, day 2: practice and implementation, day 3: policy and economy) and will feature presentations by leading experts in the fields of biodiversity, health and climate change including:

–          Humberto Delgado Rosa (European Commission, DG Environment, Director for Natural Capital)

–          Hans Bruyninckx (Executive Director European Environmental Agency, EEA) tbc

–          Cristina Romanelli (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD) tbc

–          Thomas Elmqvist (Stockholm Resilience Centre)

–          Richard Mitchell (Institute for Health and Wellbeing/CRESH, Glasgow University)

–          Kevin Gaston (University of Exeter, UK)

–          Terry Hartig (Upsala University, Sweden)

–          Catherine Ward Thompson (Edinburgh College of Art, UK)

–          Roderick Lawrence (Director of the Global Environmental Policy Program, University Geneva)

–          Thomas Claßen (NRW Centre for Health, Germany)

–          Karsten Mankowsky (Political chair of the German National Healthy Cities Network)

–          Chantal van Ham (IUCN) tbc

On day 2, interactive workshop sessions will address eight specific themes ranging from “Evidence for biodiversity’s contribution to health”, to “Health and protected areas” and “Psychological effects of nature and biodiversity” as well as “Linking initiatives in biodiversity, health and policy”, “Allergenic plants and vector borne diseases” and “Nature-based solutions for health and social equity”. In addition, “Landscape planning for multifunctional urban spaces” will be addressed. A special session is dedicated to “Lessons learned from green interventions for enhancing human health in urban areas”, where emphasis is given to good practice examples and the sharing of experience among community level actors.

Results of conference discussions will feed into ENCA recommendations for creating synergies between ongoing policy processes, scientific programmes and practical implementation of nature conservation measures in European urban and rural areas to support health measures in the face of a changing climate.

Here, you will find information on the conference programme and interactive sessions.

Networking opportunities and social events include an evening reception and a conference dinner.


Open abstract call for talks & posters

Abstracts and oral and poster presentations are welcomed! Oral presentations will be held within the eight interactive sessions. They are focused on contributions that demonstrate good practice in implementing nature-based solutions to health and equity issues in urban areas and their rural surroundings from a scientific, policy and practical perspective. Ideally these topics should be linked to climate change issues. Please notice that only a limited number of contributions can be accepted.

The themes are:

  • Biodiversity or green space? Evidence for contributions to health in a changing climate
  • Health and protected areas in a changing climate
  • Psychological effects of nature and biodiversity on human health and well-being
  • The benefits of green space for enhancing human health – lessons learned from urban interventions
  • Linking Initiatives in biodiversity, health and climate change action in policy and practice
  • Allergenic plants and vector borne disease – relevance to human health in a changing climate
  • Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and their role in fostering health and socio-environmental equity
  • Planning and managing urban green spaces for health and biodiversity in a changing climate – Concepts, experiences, practice

Deadline for abstract submission is Monday, 6 February 2017 (abstract submission guidelines)



Early bird registration deadline: Monday, 3 April 2017

Final registration deadline: Monday, 29 May 2017

Please register here (Due to limited availability of places early registration is recommended.)