SER2017 is quickly shaping itself into a dynamic, informational, and inspiring conference. Ten exceptional keynote speakers from across the world have accepted our invitations to participate in four interactive plenary sessions addressing a variety of timely and resonant themes.
The conference will open with a plenary session exploring our current ecological situation worldwide, with a special focus on water resources, and potential outcomes if we don’t change course, and opportunities to think innovatively and creatively, especially in the context of ecological restoration, to address these challenges. We are delighted to welcome Charles Vörösmarty to discuss the challenges, and Jakki Mohr who will focus on innovations and solutions.
Our second plenary session, on Tuesday, will directly address the conference theme - Linking Science and Practice for a Better World. The first speaker, Katharine Suding, will provide an overview of the science and theory of ecological restoration, while our second speaker, Richard Hobbs will offer reflections on how the science of restoration ecology can inform the practice of ecological restoration. We will consider the difficulties of putting science into practice and what that means for setting goals and identifying effective approaches on the ground.
Wednesday will enable us to move from the lecture hall to the field – all delegates will be encouraged to join field trips that day to see how science and practice truly intersect on the ground. Ideally, the ideas and theories from our first two days of plenary sessions, symposia, and regular sessions will provide an excellent foundation for this collective field day. In addition, it will ensure that delegates have an opportunity to experience the natural systems, conservation challenges and restoration activities around Foz do Iguacu, while also gaining a first-hand understanding of ecosystem services and socio-cultural issues in the area.
We will reconvene at the conference center on Thursday for the third plenary, to discuss the global scale international commitments for and progress towards restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services. We will hear from three speakers during this plenary, Sandra Diaz, Miguel Calmon, and Brigitte Baptiste addressing actions under the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services - IPBES, Initiative 20/20, the Bonn Challenge, and new efforts to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. Our speakers will discuss how ecological restoration intersects with and/or helps with the delivery of these many global targets and agreements to provide ecosystem services, conserve and enhance biological diversity, and to sequester carbon and otherwise reduce the impacts of climate change. Our speakers will specifically address both the expectations of the society as a whole, and the expectations of local stakeholders and landowners, ensuring that we are incorporating socioecological issues at multiple scales as we promote and implement ecological restoration.
The closing plenary session on Friday will bring an overview of the science and practice of restoration focused on different large groups of ecosystems. Robin Chazdon, Elise Buisson and Terry Hughes will bring us back to the conference theme of linking science and practice by focusing on the “how-to’s” of forests, grasslands and marine ecosystems. The final plenary will help integrate the many different topics and discussions of the conference into a collective agenda to reach ambitious global restoration targets and goals.
Click on the images to know more about the speakers: