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External Events

When senses take flight: understanding avian sensory behaviour in a changing world
14 - 15 September

This symposium will bring together a distinguished list of international researchers representing the full spectrum of avian senses and how these are being, and could be, used in conservation science.

Global Sustainability Challenges: food, water and energy security
20 September
Food, water, and energy security are some of the major challenges of the 21st century, after the huge period of growth in the second half of the 20th century. Sir John Beddington’s lecture on the legacies of the 20th century and the challenges of the 21st, to be held on Wednesday 20 September, will address these sustainability challenges and the role of scientists and engineers in approaching them. He will also consider how climate change, regulation, and the public perception of science and engineering complicate these issues and the enormous effort now required from politicians, engineers, and scientists.

Aquatic Ecology Group – Annual Meeting 2017
British Ecological Society
15 September
Leading aquatic ecologists will present their most recent findings and outline their priorities for future research. Students and early-career researcher are encouraged to present posters and give a “highlight talk at the meeting”.

Climate Politics in Interesting Times
Political Studies Association
15 September

The politics around governing global climate change are complex enough at the best of times. Now, a surge of populism, ‘fake news’, and the election of Donald Trump as US President, all in times of ongoing austerity in Western democracies, add even greater challenges to the picture. In this research workshop, we will explore what these ‘interesting times’ mean for the prospects, barriers, and new opportunities of climate governance. The event brings together academics, researchers, activists and policy-makers with expertise in climate politics, to explore any or all of the following questions: How has the transnational climate governance arena evolved since Paris 2015? What new barriers have arisen as a result of austerity, populism, Brexit and Trump? And more.

Extinction and Livestock Conference
WWF-UK and Compassion in World Farming
5-6 October

The Extinction and Livestock international conference is being held at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centre, London, and will examine how we can transform our global food and farming systems to work for people, the planet and animals. It will bring together diverse interests – conservation & livestock production, land & water use, the environment & climate change, ethics & economics, healthy & sustainable diets, food security, food business– and act as a catalyst for future collaboration and solution development.

Embedding the natural capital approach in the built environment sector
Natural Capital Initiative
6 October
Building on last year's successful event "Beyond Concepts", this interactive workshop will go beyond strategy to consider how the natural capital approach can be implemented within the built environment sector, and identify the practical steps needed to embed this approach on the ground.

Spotlight on Scotland’s Biodiversity
British Ecological Society
10-11 October

The BES Scottish Policy Group is proudly supporting the Royal Society of Edinburgh's two day biodiversity conference - Spotlight on Scotland’s Biodiversity.

GWCT and Natural England Farmer Cluster Conference
Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
12 October
Your chance to hear first-hand accounts of running a Farmer Cluster and the opportunities it provides. In a very short space of time, the concept of farmers working together at a landscape scale to deliver biodiversity, alleviate flooding and improve their local environment has really taken off. The concept now known as the Farmer Cluster was devised in response to Sir John Lawton’s 2011 report ‘Making Space for Nature’ which called for conservation to be bigger, better and more joined up. Defra, through the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund is now encouraging farmers, foresters and other land managers to work together to improve their local natural environment at a landscape scale.

Microplastic Pollution: Everyone’s problem - but what can be done about it?
Water Science Forum
16 October

Plastic pollution is recognised as a serious worldwide problem in the marine environment, added to which there is mounting evidence for more insidious effects on aquatic ecosystems via freshwater sources and wastewaters. It has been shown that significant quantities of microfibres from washing synthetic fabrics end up in sewage sludge and also escape current water treatment processes. Microparticles can interfere with feeding patterns of aquatic life and expose them to plasticisers and other additives. Plastics can also preferentially sorb persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic pollutants which, if they enter the food chain, pose potential health risks to aquatic and terrestrial higher organisms, including people. This workshop will bring together researchers from marine and freshwater backgrounds to review our current understanding of the risks and knowledge gaps. There will be discussion on how best to address plastic pollution of the aquatic environment and respond to the identified evidence gaps and policy needs.

World Urban Parks European Congress 2017
Wirral (UK)
16 - 19 October

The Congress will feature high profile speakers from across the globe including the CEO and President of Central Park, New York. It will explore key issues around the crucial role of parks for towns and cities; the challenge of sustainability; and a celebration of the rich heritage that parks create within communities.

Brexit Environmental Update
Castle Debates
20 October
The EU has been the major influence on UK environmental law over the last thirty years. Brexit has raised unique challenges and opportunities for future of environmental law in this country. Will international environmental conventions become more legally significant?
In the absence of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, do we have adequate legal machinery to ensure that government and public bodies comply with their environmental obligations? Should national Parliament have an enhanced role in the future? Will we see environmental law diverge within the devolved jurisdictions and does that matter? These and other questions will be addressed at this Debate.

Exploring Pasture Farming in the Field: Pros, Cons and Policy Needs
British Ecological Society
25 October
The Cotswolds
This event will provide the opportunity for an in depth look at pasture farming as championed by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association and their ‘Pasture for Life’ certification mark. Members will hear about recent findings supporting the benefits of feeding animals only on pasture and then visit a grazing herd in the Cotswolds practising holistic planned grazing.

Regional European Ideas Lab
Greens meet Changemakers
27 October
The objectives of the Dublin Ideas Lab are:

  • to provide a forum for civil society and NGO bodies from across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and beyond to meet with MEPs, green political leaders and activists to :-
    • Engage in a professionally facilitated and neutral space to share ideas, experiences and knowledge
    • Discuss specific topics according to a specified structure
    • Connect their struggles and spend a weekend in an inspirational atmosphere
  • to facilitate networking and to create lasting connections between the participants, which can help inform domestic and European policy and if possible enable the participants to identify and work co-cooperatively on common campaigns.

Unknown Wales Conference 2017
The Wildlife Trusts Wales
28 October
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

The 2017 Unknown Wales Conference, run in conjunction with the National Museum of Wales, will celebrate the unknown aspects of Welsh wildlife.

The marine environment after Brexit: the future for science and policy
British Ecological Society
31 October
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have a major impact on environmental policy and legislation, as well as consequences for the way scientific research is undertaken: nowhere will this be more acutely felt than in the marine environment, where international co-operation and agreement is crucial. This interactive one-day event will bring together leading scientists and other stakeholders to consider the future of marine environmental policy and marine biological research in the UK.

Bright Blue Green conservatism conference 2017
1 November
Bright Blue’s Green Conservatism Conference is an opportunity for centre-right politicians and thought leaders, as well as experts and industry practitioners, to discuss conservative approaches to the great environmental challenges we face in the UK and internationally. There will be keynote speeches by Claire Perry MP (UK Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry) and Lord Deben (Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change). Four panel sessions will explore: agriculture and CAP reform; strengthening the role of markets in energy; the future of conservation; and energy security in the UK and Europe.

The Mammal Society Autumn Symposium 2017
The Mammal Society
3 November
All talks will centre around “Advances in marine mammal science to support conservation.”

The Future of the UK Environment
Environmental Protection UK
9 November
Aston University - Birmingham
This year will be crucial for the future of our environment. The Great Repeal Bill is intended to bring all existing EU legislation, including environmental legislation, into UK law. There will be expert presentations in the sessions for each of the main EPUK topics, air quality, land quality and noise.

Linking behaviour to populations and communities
22 - 23 November
This NERC/ZSL symposium will bring together leading experts in behavioural ecology and conservation to explore how behavioural ecologists can make a difference in support of conservation by relating their research to ecosystem processes. The meeting will critically assess the role of the behavioural ecological community in addressing conservation priorities so far and aims to inspire future conservation-oriented research and action with real impact. Now is a highly promising time for progress in this direction because of the emergence of strong analytical tools and conceptual advances in behavioural ecology in recent years, developments which have yet to find their way fully into the conservation arena.

IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group Training
27- 30 November
This 4-day training workshop is aimed at conservation biologists and managers working on conservation transloations and reintroductions. The IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group aims to create profound benefits for nature and people by saving species and restoring the function of ecosystems. To do so it supports conservation biologists and managers in designing and managing the complexities surrounding conservation translocations in terms of multi-stakeholder interests, biological uncertainties and risk.

Through this workshop it hopes to ultimately increase knowledge to plan, courage to act, certainty to secure resources, skill to respond to challenges, and support the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. The 4-day course will be a mix of lectures, tools training sessions, and small group activities to practice application of lecture and tools material to participant-suggested case studies. Workshop participants will be required to prepare a summary of a conservation translocation project they are currently involved with. By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to apply IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations.

Expanding the UK’s Green Economy
Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum
5 December

Delegates at this conference will assess the priorities for expanding the UK’s Green Economy, delivering low-carbon electricity and developing green infrastructure.

With the UK set to miss its 2020 renewable targets, and following the recent private acquisition of the GIB and the Green Deal Finance Company, delegates will consider opportunities for attracting further private investment in green projects. Sessions will examine the challenges for engaging investors who traditionally avoid public subsidy models, and for balancing commercial viability with the need for clean energy infrastructure.

In light of the Industrial Strategy White paper and the Clean Growth Plan, both expected later this year, attendees will discuss the Government’s investment priorities for improving energy efficiency, reducing energy costs, and developing new clean-energy projects post-Brexit.
Further sessions will consider the future for less established technologies, such as hydrogen gas heating and carbon capture and storage, and the potential for cross sector strategies to ensure effective emissions management and reduction.

Wild About Plymouth: Britain's Ocean City
Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery
9 December

Join Professor John Spicer on a special tour through Plymouth exploring the city’s unique marine science history. We will visit the Marine Biological Association where marine science really began in the UK, and walk down to the Barbican visiting key spots along the way. Find out what makes our city an international base for marine science research.

European Coral Reef Symposium (ECRS) 2017
13 - 15 December
To celebrate 20 years of Reef Conservation UK (RCUK) ZSL are going big and hosting the European Coral Reef Symposium (ECRS) in Oxford, UK, from Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th December, 2017. This three-day event is organised and hosted by the RCUK Committee, in association with the Zoological Society of London, the International Society for Reef Studies and the University of Oxford.

The future for charity law and governance - accountability, regulation and priorities for new legislation
Westminster Legal Policy Forum
18 January 2018
This seminar will focus on the future for charity law and regulation in England and Wales. The discussion is timed as a draft Bill on charity law is expected to be taken forward next year, following the final report of the Law Commission’s consultation on Technical Issues in Charity Law in September. Sessions will focus on what more can be done to simplify the current system, looking in particular at proposals to reform the regulation of land transactions and permanent endowment, workings of cy-près rules in situations where too much or too little is raised for a fundraising appeal, as well as the future framework for charity taxation.

Safeguarding space for nature, securing our future: developing a post-2020 strategy
27-28 February
This symposium will bring together international scientists, conservation practitioners, policy-makers, business leaders, civil society and donors to (1) review the science informing future area-based conservation targets, (2) evaluate the implications of various policy options, (3) provide balanced, evidence-based recommendations to Parties to the CBD and other policy processes and (4) raise awareness of the need for a more ambitious, holistic and effective strategy on space for nature, incorporating protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.