Aarhus Universitet Technical Sciences

New European seminar will strengthen science-based policy advice on agriculture and environment


European governments are facing critical decisions on agriculture, food, climate and environment. Science-based policy advice is in high demand to tackle these challenges, but varies across Europe. Aarhus University and European Science Advisors Forum are now inviting to the first ever trans-European seminar in this area. The aim is to facilitate exchange of experiences, challenges and best practices in how to provide science-based policy advice.

Agriculture, food, climate and environment are debated issues on both political and public agendas across Europe, and governments in Europe have adopted ambitious goals for reducing the climate impacts from agriculture and food production. In this situation, science-based policy advice is in high demand, but often also subject of debates.

Now, Aarhus University and European Science Advisors Forum (ESAF) invite stakeholders to participate in a trans-European seminar to create synergy and knowledge sharing among researchers across Europe. The aim is to heighten further the quality of the European science-based policy advice on agriculture and environment.

-          The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly revealed how important flexibility is in the advice system. It is therefore crucial for the development, sustainability and resilience of countries and regions to learn from successful cases of science-based advice and policy recommendation. It is equally important to discuss together the reasons for failures, says Professor Tarmo Soomere, who is the chair of ESAF.

Together with the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA) and the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) at Aarhus University, ESAF has initiated the seminar that takes place online on the 16th and 17th of March.

Knowledge sharing across Europe

The term “Science-based policy advice” covers a variety of arrangements with the objective of providing political decision-makers and their public servants with updated, verifiable and evidence-based information and advice on issues relevant for regulation and policy making.

The organization, funding and responsibility for providing science-based policy advice differs between countries and across subject areas and sectors. However, there is a lot to be learnt by collaborating across European borders.

-          No solution fits all, but there are important generic principles of scientific rigour, independence and integrity, as well as transparency. So, we all need to install procedures and quality assurance practices for the day-to-day handling of policy advice, which ensure adherence to the principles. Therefore, in this forum we can inspire each other to develop the future best practices for science-based policy advice which is in very high demand in our research areas within agriculture, climate and environment, says Niels Halberg, Director of DCA.

Shorter distance between colleagues

At the seminar, Head of Unit Renzo Tomellini from the European Commission will participate as well as leading scientists within the field. Alongside the presentations, participants can give input in group sessions.

Tarmo Soomere hopes that the seminar will bring European colleagues closer together.

-          A directly measurable outcome of such seminars is the increase in the number of contacts between different counterparts. Learning from fellow experts is a must in the contemporary world. Providing good advice is much easier if you can at least shortly talk to your colleague who has had a similar challenge. Events like this lead to the situation where your trusted colleagues are at a very short distance of just one phone call, he says.

Find the full programme and sign up for the seminar here.


Niels Halberg, Director of Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA) at Aarhus University
Email: niels.halberg@dca.au.dk
Tel.: +45 2963 0093

About Aarhus Universitet Technical Sciences

Aarhus Universitet Technical Sciences
Aarhus Universitet Technical Sciences
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8000 Aarhus C

8715 0000https://tech.au.dk/

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