Following its 3rd international conference organised in Ghent in may 2017, which dealt with Nature and Society: Synergies, Conflicts, Trade-offs Alter-net prepared a Policy Brief “Pursuing benefits for nature and society” based on main conclusions of the conference.

The key messages in the policy brief were:

Key messages:

  1. Considering multiple values, including relational values, is essential for achieving a sustainable society and economy. Capitalization of nature may neglect these relational values of nature with people.
  2.  Synergies between nature and society are possible and necessitate awareness of and collaboration between policy sectors and governance levels. Conflicts and trade-offs need to be acknowledged and genuinely addressed.
  3. European institutions should facilitate synergies between nature and society. They can offer coherent framework with shared aims and objectives while maintaining flexibility for locally adapted implementation. The UN Sustainable Development Goals offer such a framework.
  4. Evidence and a good knowledge base are essential to support decisions at the interface between nature and society and to raise societal awareness.
  5. Interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary science, through integrated stakeholder participation, is required when identifying, designing and implementing tailored solutions that offer multiple benefits.

Further information available:


Pursuing benefits for nature and society” policy brief available here.

Alter-Net website available here.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr Maurice Hoffmann, Chair of ALTER-Net, c/o INBO, Kliniekstraat 25, 1070 Brussels, Belgium