Ecological Restoration attracts people to the SER2014 European Conference in Oulu, Finland, August 3-8 2014
Finnish Forest Research Institute hosts the 9th European Conference on Ecological Restoration in August 2014. The specific focus of the Conference is Restoration, Ecosystem Services and Land Use Policy. The timely topic relates the Conference directly to global, EU and national level policies, which aim at safeguarding the environment and biodiversity, and mitigating Climate Change impacts. By acknowledging and discussing international and EU level strategies and targets, the Conference aims at increasing the link between the science and practice of ecological restoration and land use policies.
The ecosystem service concept and the valuation efforts of ecosystem services are changing the discussion concerning land use policy and natural resource management. Increasing knowledge on the importance of healthy ecosystems for human well-being is leading to situations in which multifunctional and ecologically sustainable land use is seen as an option to simultaneously generate ecological, social, and economic benefits. Ecological Restoration is seen as a crucial means to bring back the function and structure of degraded ecosystems. Also EU puts high effort on Ecological Restoration through its Biodiversity Strategy 2020, which includes a target to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems in the EU by 2020.
The event belongs to the Conference series of the European Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER Europe). There will be almost 400 attendees from 35 countries, presenting science, management, private companies and consultancy firms, EU policy, EU Life+ programme, and Finnish environment policy. Over 200 oral presentations and almost 100 posters will be presented. There will be altogether 40 sessions in the Conference, of which the most popular sessions discuss peatland restoration, grassland restoration and the importance of EU Life+ Programme as means for safeguarding and protecting the environment. There are sessions also for example on marine and freshwater ecosystems, mineral extraction sites, and Ecological restoration will also be discussed from the viewpoint of success evaluation, social networking, economic benefits and environmental education.
The Conference is organized in Oulu, northern Finland, which is the first time for SER European Conferences to be hosted by one of the Nordic Countries. Oulu can offer a functioning Conference venue at the University Campus and provide abundant opportunities for one-day mid-Conference excursions to see northern Finnish nature.
Oulu is located in the peatland-richest region in Finland, where almost half of the land area is covered by peatlands. Excursions will show both large-scale restoration in protected areas and smaller-scale restoration in the Oulu City recreation area. Various methods of after-use of cut-over peatlands will be shown in one of the excursions, and the use of controlled fire as forest restoration tool is presented in another excursion. The globally unique attraction is the postglacial land uplift coast, in which the Conference attendees will see chronosequences from pristine ‘baby forests’ and ‘baby peatlands’ up to later successional stages, only a few hundred meters apart.
The Conference is co-organised with the University of Oulu and Metsähallitus.
More information on the Conference at: http://www.ser2014.org/
- Anne Tolvanen
Professor, SER2014 European Conference Chair
Finnish Forest Research Institute and Thule Institute of the University of Oulu
Forest - Knowledge - Know-how - Well-being