From survey to monitoring of landscapes and biodiversity
Symposium organised by:
Gabriela Hofer, Agroscope, Zurich, Switzerland.
Wendy Fjellstad, Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Ås, Norway
The symposium will explore lessons learned and solutions proposed for long-term monitoring of landscapes and biodiversity. It will include presentations and discussion relevant to planning, implementing and increasing the policy impact of monitoring schemes.
There is growing demand from policy makers for reliable and timely information on the status and evolution of landscapes and biodiversity. Monitoring of landscapes and biodiversity poses specific requirements which are related to the repetition of the surveys in time. The spatial allocation of survey units (points, lines, polygons) has to be chosen, accounting for possible future changes; the size of the sample must be decided whilst the variability of the data is unknown; the programme must be able to distinguish real change from variability and uncertainty; and database construction and management must be carefully planned for the long term. Additional challenges include the selection and training of staff and the communication of results.
It would be relatively easy to propose solid and robust monitoring schemes if there were no financial restrictions. In real programmes, however, resources need to be optimized for a given budget. Landscape monitoring programmes are at the interface between science and society. They must yield data which are scientifically robust and reliable and can be used as a basis for administrators and policy makers for decision making. The symposium will be useful for people planning, implementing and using landscape and biodiversity monitoring.
The symposium will encourage interaction between landscape ecologists from different countries working on landscape monitoring. It will also include other disciplines to help improve landscape monitoring design & practice, including improved communication of results and greater impact on policy and decision making. An article will be submitted to the IALE bulletin.