Science–policy challenges for biodiversity, public health and urbanization: examples from Belgium

H Keune, C Kretsch, G De Blust, M Gilbert, L Flandroy, K Van den Berge, V Versteirt, T Hartig, L De Keersmaecker, H Eggermont, D Brosens, J Dessein, S Vanwambeke, a H Prieur-Richard, H Wittmer, a Van Herzele, C Linard, P Martens, E Mathijs, I SimoensP Van Damme, F Volckaert, P Heyman, T Bauler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Internationally, the importance of a coordinated effort to protect\nboth biodiversity and public health is more and more recognized.\nThese issues are often concentrated or particularly challenging in\nurban areas, and therefore on-going urbanization worldwide raises\nparticular issues both for the conservation of living natural resources\nand for population health strategies. These challenges include significant\ndifficulties associated with sustainable management of urban ecosystems,\nurban development planning, social cohesion and public health. An\nimportant element of the challenge is the need to interface between\ndifferent forms of knowledge and different actors from science and\npolicy. We illustrate this with examples from Belgium, showcasing\nconcrete cases of human–nature interaction. To better tackle these\nchallenges, since 2011, actors in science, policy and the broader\nBelgian society have launched a number of initiatives to deal in\na more integrated manner with combined biodiversity and public health\nchallenges in the face of ongoing urbanization. This emerging community\nof practice in Belgium exemplifies the importance of interfacing\nat different levels. (1) Bridges must be built between science and\nthe complex biodiversity/ecosystem–human/public health–urbanization\nphenomena. (2) Bridges between different professional communities\nand disciplines are urgently needed. (3) Closer collaboration between\nscience and policy, and between science and societal practice is\nneeded. Moreover, within each of these communities closer collaboration\nbetween specialized sections is needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)025015
    Number of pages1
    JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
    Volume8
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Cite this

    Keune, H., Kretsch, C., De Blust, G., Gilbert, M., Flandroy, L., Van den Berge, K., Versteirt, V., Hartig, T., De Keersmaecker, L., Eggermont, H., Brosens, D., Dessein, J., Vanwambeke, S., Prieur-Richard, A. H., Wittmer, H., Van Herzele, A., Linard, C., Martens, P., Mathijs, E., ... Bauler, T. (2013). Science–policy challenges for biodiversity, public health and urbanization: examples from Belgium. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 025015. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/025015