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Past Events

International Conference on "Motivations and arguments to act for biodiversity. Alternative ways to inspire innovative policy making"

10-11 June 2015, Brussels: organized by the BESAFE research consortium and the BIOMOT research consortium : conference website - flyer .

BEES Christmas market - Sharing knowledge and practices on ecosystem services

17 December 2014, Gembloux (ULg campus Agro-Bio Tech):
organized by the Belgium Ecosystem Services consortium: BEES website.

The Political Science Research Seminar

28 October 2014, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden:
The Political Science Research Seminar.

2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance: Access and Allocation in the Anthropocene

1-3 July 2014, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom:
Conference organised by the Earth System Governance Project. Presentation by Brendan Coolsaet: "Identifying pathways towards equitable access and allocation: distribution, recognition and participation".

Food for Sustainability: transdisciplinary workshop

15 May 2014, BELSPO, Brussels:
The Food4Sustainability project organized its first transdisciplinary workshop (programme).

Side event at the Third Meeting of Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol

27 February 2014, The Asia and the Pacific:
The BIOGOV Unit and the Micro B3 Consortium, in collaboration with the European Commission, the PharmaSea Consortium and IUCN organised a side event at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol, titled: “Marine Genetic Resources and the Nagoya Protocol: Preparing the Marine Scientific Community” (flyer).

Submissions for the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP3)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) invited Parties, other Governments, international organizations, indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders to submit views and information on ABS-related issues to be discussed at the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP3). Two of these submissions are based on research conducted by the BIOGOV Unit: The submission by Belgium and The MicroB3 Model Agreement on Access to Marine Microorganisms and Benefit Sharing

International conference of the BIOMOT consortium

24-25 March 2014, Brussels:
"Beyond economic valuation. Alternative ways to express the value of biodiversity in science and policy", conference organised by the the BIOMOT consortium (EU FP7 project) in collaboration with the BIOGOV unit of the UCLouvain.

MicroB3 activities

29 January 2014, European Parliament and European Commission, Brussels:

Arianna Broggiato presented the paper "Micro B3 ABS model agreement - Best practice to implement the Nagoya Protocol and foster marine scientific research" at the Lunch Briefing New Frontiers in Blue Biotechnology - Research & SME Alliances in Early Drug Discovery, at the invitation of Ulrike Rodust, MEP.

Arul Scaria presented the paper "Balancing Dissemination, Protection and compliance - some insights from the Micro B3 project" at the seminar Training and awareness seminar on IPRs in the context of H2020" organised by DG Research and Innovation.

Colloquium "Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue"

24 January 2014, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague:
Jose-Luis Vivero Pol presented a paper on The food commons transition. Collective actions for food security” at the colloquium Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue, organised by the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague), the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam), Food First (California) and the Journal of Peasant Studies: (abridged version of the paper, The Broker).

International conference on Policy Mixes in Environmental and Conservation Policies

25-27 February 2014, Leipzig, Germany: conference website :

Brendan Coolsaet presented the paper "The challenges for implementing the Nagoya Protocol in a multi-level governance context: lessons from the Belgian case", co-authored with Tom Dedeurwaerdere and John Pitseys , currently in open access. (More details).

International conference on "Philosophy of Science in the 21st Century – Challenges and Tasks"

4-6 December 2013, Lisbon, Portugal:
Florin Popa presented a paper discussing reasons for integrating requirements of societal relevance and legitimacy into research methodology :"Should science become more democratic?" (conference website)

Masterclass seminar on Sustainable Development

22–24 November 2013, Lokeren, Belgium:
Brendan Coolsaet participated in the masterclass' seminar on "Nature™, the boundaries of patenting" with the presentation "Genetic resources, Intellectual Property Rights and Environmental Justice".

17th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

14–18 October 2013 - Montreal, Canada:
Arianna Broggiato presented "Model ABS agreement to implement the Nagoya Protocol and data and materials exchange patterns of the Culture Collections" at the meeting Culture Collection Networks coordinate Access and Benefit Sharing. The event included a series of brief presentations demonstrating the value and engagement of ex situ microbial germplasm in developing and implementing access and benefit as well as in characterizing and cataloging invasive microbes.

First International Conference on Global Food Security

29 September–2 October 2013, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands:
Jose Luis Vivero Pol presented the paper "Food as a Commons: reframing the narrative of the food system" and the poster "A binding food treaty to end hunger: Anathema or post-2015 solution" . (conference website).

Seminar on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications

3-4 October 2013, Palais des Nations, Geneva:
Jose Luis Vivero presented the paper "The interactions between the right to food and the right to science: the public good approach."

The Xth International Ontology Congress: PHYSIS. FROM ELEMENTARY PARTICLES TO HUMAN NATURE. (San Sebastian 1-6 October 2012 / Barcelona 8-9 October 2012) Conference website

Mathieu Guillermin held a presentation on "Epistemic values and realism in quantum mechanics: the case of contemporary solutions to the EPR controversy" (M. Guillermin, T. Dedeurwaerdere).
Abstract: The EPR controversy between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr is one of the most essential contemporary debates in physics with respect to the issue of realism. Based on the Bell's inequalities, the experimental test settled the debate in favor of Bohr and the completeness of quantum mechanics. In this paper, we consider the idea according to which, in the quantum context, several epistemic values traditionally leading the scientific activity are in conflict. The settling of the EPR controversy could indicate that those epistemic values cannot be consistently held together in the quantum context. The controversy leads to question admitted principles, such as the locality, the requirement of semantic references to the reality in itself and the independence of experimental results with respect to the observer, all tightly connected with the realistic conceptions of the world. This paper characterizes several selected contemporary approaches in quantum context with respect to the modification of the set of epistemic principles they adopt to restore its consistency.

Workshop: "Philosophy of interdisciplinarity: What is interdisciplinary success?", Lund University, Sweden (4-5 October 2012) Conference site.

Florin Popa held a presentation on "Problem framing in interdisciplinary research on sustainability. The case of social-ecological systems." (F. Popa, M. Guillermin, T. Dedeurwaerdere).
Abstract: We discuss the conceptual model used in framing sustainability problems and argue that a conceptual clarification and reframing is needed in order to assess the relevance and potential of interdisciplinarity in sustainability research. Methodological choices (whether they are interdisciplinary or not) are guided by the way sustainability problems are framed. By acknowledging the different elements that shape problem framing, including cognitive and socio-normative variables underlying the research process itself, sustainability research can be carried out on a more solid epistemological foundation.

The 14th Annual BIOECON Conference: Resource Economics, Biodiversity Conservation and Development (18-20 September 2012, Kings College Cambridge, England) Conference site

Presentation of the paper "The economic impacts of biodiversity policy for improving the climate regulating services provided by EU Natura 2000 habitats by Helen Ding*, Anil Markandya and Paulo A.L.D. Nunes.
Abstract: We adopted the state-of-the-art methodologies to quantify the total carbon stocked by Natura 2000 habitats as well as to project the future changes of carbon stocks influenced by alternative policy options for the management of Natura 2000 habitats by 2020. Our results show that the N2K network currently stores around 9.6 billion tonnes of Carbon, equivalent to 35 billion tonnes of CO2, which is estimated to be worth between €607 billion and €1,130 billion (stock value in 2010), depending on the price attached to a ton of carbon. Of the different ecosystems the forest habitats contain the highest carbon value in the network, ranging between €318 and €610 billion in 2010. Furthermore, our results also show that in the future these carbon values can be increased. A policy scenario (Policy ON), where full Protected Area coverage (terrestrial PAs + fuller MPAs) with a move to full favourable conservation status is estimated to generate a gain of at least a total of 1.71-2.86% by 2020 compared to a policy inaction scenario (Policy OFF), where no additional action is taken to conserve the current Natura 2000 sites over the next decade.

The 1st Global Thematic IASC Conference on the Knowledge Commons: Building Institutions for Sustainable Scientific, Cultural and genetic Resources Commons.

12-14 September 2012, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve
Conference site and Keynote presentations.

XI International Conference on Protection and Restoration of the EnvironmentConference presentation (Thessaloniki, Greece, 3-6 July 2012) Conference site

Presentation by A.Gizari, D.Manou: "Combating environmental challenges: enforcement and compliance mechanisms at international and EU level".
Abstract: Numerous multilateral and bilateral agreements have been signed so far by the international community aiming at sustainable development and environmental protection. In addition, plenty of legislation has been adopted and several environmental policy instruments have been developed for the same purpose at the EU level as well. Yet, the problem of the effective enforcement of all these legal rules remains; specifically, there are serious problems of enforcement and compliance which may impede the achievement of these goals. Our paper focuses on the means and capabilities of enforcement and compliance with the international and European law. Furthermore, it discusses recent developments in case-law, especially that of the European Court of Justice, and identifies the differences between the international and the European legal order concerning the enforcement of environmental regulation. It finally argues that effective compliance and enforcement is essential for successfully protecting the environment, otherwise government commitments are of no value.

Conference "L'impatto delle innovazioni biotecnologiche sui diritti della persona" - University of Trento, 17-18 May 2012

Flyer - Presentation by Nicola Lucchi : Informazione biologica e privative intellettuali

Seminario italospagnolo di Diritto costituzionale. Le nuove esigenze di tutela dei diritti della persona - Real Colegio de Espana Bologna, 3-4 May 2012

Presentation by Nicola Lucchi: Libertà di espressione e diritto di accesso a Internet: un percorso europeo tra nuove oppressioni e nuove libertà. Flyer - Seminar website

5th International Conference on Information law and ethics, Corfu , 29-30 June 2012

Presentation by Nicola Lucchi: The Role of Internet Access in Enabling Individual’s Rights and Freedom

Conference EAERE 2012 - 19th annual conference of European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists - (website)

Presentation by Helen Ding: Social costs and benefits analysis of sustainable management strategies for the Talamanca biological corridor in the contect of climate change: a case study in Costa Rica
Abstract: The present study is conducted to improve the understanding of costs and benefits in association with changes in the extent and composition of tropical forests, grasslands, croplands in the context of climate change and to evaluate the trade-offs and synergies of conservation strategies for biodiversity conservation and climate change regulation. In particular, we aim for a Social Cost and Benefit Analysis of the conflicting land-uses between natural forests, silvopastoral systems (SPS) and agroforestry system in the Volcanic Central – Talamanca Biological Corridor in Costa Rica. The results obtained in this study are expected to assist local policymaking in terms of setting policy priorities that provides highest co-benefits (including carbon stock maintenance or enhancement, biodiversity and ecosystem services benefits, and sustainable incomes to the farmers) from alternative land-use management practices, and of identifying objectives that incorporates the interests of a wide range of stakeholders in Talamanca.

FAO-CIHEAM Network on Sheep and Goats – Sub-Network on Nutrition 14th International Seminar and 2nd Symposium of LowInputBreeds on Feeding and management strategies to improve livestock productivity, welfare and product quality under climate change (Conference website).

Presentation by Helen Ding: WP5.1 - Protocol of the Multi-Criteria Decision Models (MCDM) for the LowInputBreeds project.
Abstract: The WP 5.1 focuses on the development of a standard protocol for multi-criteria evaluation of the social, economic, environmental impacts of four types of livestock production systems, including sheep, dairy cows, pigs and laying hens, across different European countries. The defined protocol is expected to serve as a comprehensive evaluation tool, which will not only allow us to evaluate the performance of different livestock systems in terms of the respective social, economic and environmental sustainability, but also to estimate the effects of government intervention regimes related to the recent reforms in the EU agro-environmental policies, as well as the impacts of breeding and agronomic/husbandry innovations resulted from the LowInputBreeds project.
Research activities in WP5.1 are organized in terms of three phases. Phase 1 has been conducted and concluded in 2010, which refers to the identification of abovementioned livestock production systems falling within the scope of breeding innovations. We have now just entered Phase 2, which aims at identifying and developing a standardized multi-criteria assessment protocol, based on a literature review of existing multi-criteria decision models for different livestock production systems, alone with experts’ justifications from the regional partners of the LowInputBreeds project. Finally, Phase 3 will focus on testing and implementing the developed protocol in the selected regional cases across European countries. The results from WP 5.1 will contribute to decision-making regarding how to sustain the local livestock production systems and cope with the increasing climate change stress on different animal breeds in the EU.

Conference presentation

Christine Frison - "Le système multilatéral d'accès et de partage des avantages du Traité international sur les ressources phytogénétiques pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture: gestion collective d'un bien commun?"
ANR PROPICE - Séminaire «De la bio-banque au musée - Le bien commun en question», Paris

IASC 1st global thematic conference on the global knowledge commonsInternational conference organized by BIOGOV 12-14 September 2012, UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve

Building Institutions for Sustainable Scientific, Cultural and genetic Resources Commons.

Colloquium "Les biens communs : comment (co-)gérer ce qui est à tous ?" débats - forums (9 March 2012, Académie royale de Belgique)

Presentation by Tom Dedeurwaerdere: "Partager sans posséder : le patrimoine génétique comme bien commun".

Workshop "Value Ethics behind Biodiversity Conservation Law (UCL)" (31 January–6 February 2012, Louvain-la-Neuve)

Organized by the UCL Faculty of Biology, the workshops that took place from the 31 January to 6 February were centered around a central tenet, examining whether "Nature should be evaluated in monetary terms in order to be conserved?". The BIOGOV unit's contribution was delivered by Fulya BATUR, who approached the question through the lens of environmental ethics, highlighting the polarized value systems that exist today, between anthropocentric and ecocentric approaches to the valuation of nature. Underlining the loss of polarization in the transcription of such value systems in normative discourses, the discussion focused thereon on the future towards a hybrid value system that would push towards stronger sustainability, pragmatically acknowledging the contributions of nature to humankind's well-being, as well as its intrinsic worth and value.

"China's influence on non-trade concerns in international economic law", 19-20 January 2012, Maastricht University

Arianna Brogiatto and tom Dedeurwaerdere: "Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge at the crossroads of intellectual property and environmental regime".

Global Governance Program, European University Institute, Firenze, 16-19 November 2011

Presentation by Tom Dedeurwaerdere: "Governing International Commons: Sharing genetic and other scientific and knowledge resources"

Older events on Institutional analysis :

International Conference (The Global Public Services Network of REFGOV - IAP V/23), Louvain-la-Neuve, 15th and 16th of July 2006, "Institutions for providing global environmental goods: managing the uncertainty, complexity and change in the field of biodiversity and climate change" (website)

International Workshop, Berlin, 17-19th of July 2003 : "Incentive politics in the first 10 years of implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. An evaluation from the point of view of new-institutional and evolutionary approaches to incentives". (website)

Older events on Microbiological commons:

Building an integrated infrastructure in microbial research (dealing with issues such as bioinformatics, intellectual property rights, material transfer agreements, text mining and integration with genomics databases), 12-13 June 2008, International Conference, Ghent (website)

Designing the Microbial Research Commons: An International Symposium, 8-9 October 2009, National Academies of Sciences, Washington DC (website)

International workshop (IUAP V/23), Brussels, 7th and 8th of July 2005, "Exploring and exploiting microbiological commons: contributions of bio-informatics and intellectual property rights in sharing biological information" (website)

Older events on Traditional knowledge:

International Workshop, Louvain-la-Neuve, 5th and 6th of February 2004, "Governance of biodiversity as a global public good : bioprospecting, intellectual property rights and traditional knowledge"(website, program)

Older event onSustainability assessment:

International Workshop SUSTRA, Louvain-la-Neuve, 27-28th of March 2003 : "Sustainability Impact Assessment of Trade Agreements and New Approaches to Governance" (program, website)

Older event of Access and benefit sharing:

Multi-Stakeholder Expert Dialogue on Access and Benefit-Sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Brussels, 25-26 January 2011. (website)