CEC Deputy Chair Nancy Colleton at Trondheim Conference

Science has an important role in successfully communicating the biodiversity challenge. "We must do a better job of applying the latest social science research," said the CEC Deputy Chair in her presentation at the Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity.

“Science is as key to communicating biodiversity as it is to understanding it,” Nancy said. She described the “untapped resources” of existing knowledge about how to motivate change in people. “As conservationists, we must do a better job of applying the latest social science research. I believe it can be game-changing.”

Under the theme “Ecology and Economy for A Sustainable Society,” the seventh Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity took place in Trondheim, Norway, 27—31 May 2013. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Government in cooperation with UNEP, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), FAO, UNDP and the World Bank. It brought together approximately 330 experts from governments, international organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector “to explore how to cut development pathways towards a sustainable society by aligning policy, business, economy and ecology across borders, scales and systems.”

The Conference focused on the first goal of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011—2020, adopted by the CBD COP10 in 2010 and endorsed by several conventions, which addresses the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.

In her role as CEC Deputy Chair, Nancy’s presentation on “Communicating and the Biodiversity Challenge”, addressed the question of how to effectively communicate the science and value of biodiversity.

Competing messages, barriers associated with terminology and language, and the difficulty of defining the call to action are some of the challenges she identified. Nancy went on to say that CEC plans to bring together leading communication and social science experts to develop successful strategies and mechanisms for driving change toward sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

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