Science Policy Symposium for Freshwater Life “Water Lives: new scientific horizons for biodiversity and water policy"

Science Policy Symposium 2014In partnership with the EU FP7 project BioFresh, REFRESH organised a Science Policy Symposium for Freshwater Life with the aim of bringing together policy makers and stakeholders from the water, energy and conservation sector, NGOs, the scientific community and selected experts to discuss challenges in implementation of the 2020 Biodiversity strategy and the EU Water Framework Directive and to agree on recommendations for policy making and future research.  The scientific advances of BIOFRESH and REFRESH were presented (along with those of a number of other FP7 projects), and the implications of these for the freshwater management in the EU were discussed with the aim of highlighting clear recommendations for policy making. The Symposium sought to support the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy 2020 and the EU Water Framework Directive (and its potential revision) and to create synergies across them building on the best recent knowledge on the current and future status of freshwater ecosystems and their inherent biodiversity. REFRESH has increased understanding of freshwater ecosystem response to climate and land use change and develops tools to support adaptive management.

BIOFRESH delivered policy relevant data and results on the current status, trends, pressures and conservation priorities of freshwater biodiversity.
The symposium aligned key research findings with the needs of policy making and generate policy-relevant messages relating to:

  1. Conservation planning and management of freshwater biodiversity in the context of Green Infrastructure and Natura 2000.
  2. Future protected area networks considering environmental scenarios and policy targets
  3. Freshwater biodiversity data and information to contribute to recent activities in ecosystem assessments by JRC, EEA and the European Commission
  4. Achievements of WFD good ecological status under climate and land use change scenarios
  5. Interlinkages between biodiversity, water related policies and other policy sectors (e.g. energy, agriculture and cohesion) to infer recommendations on synergies for their implementation.

Copies of the presentations are available on the Symposium web site at

Video footage of these are available at