28.04.2020 11:00 - 16:30

WOODNET Webinar – Uncertainty and Multifunctionality: Legal Challenges and Opportunities for Green Infrastructure (GI) Policy

WOODNET project Workpackage 5 Seminar on Science, Law and Policy Interface: Uncertainty and Multifunctionality: Legal Challenges and Opportunities for
Green Infrastructure (GI) Policy
will be administered online by the Catholic University of Louvain via Teams platform.

To join the webinar, please follow this link. Kindly mute your microphone before joining the meeting. 

Nature and its vital contributions to people, which together embody biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are deteriorating from the changes in land and sea use, overexploitation of animals, plants and other organisms, pollution and climate change. The anthropogenic changes in ecological systems have been so profound that scientists even warn that we have now entered a new geological period – Anthropocene. As we continue degrading our natural environment in order to gain ecological, economic and social benefits, the utilization of “nature-based solutions (NBS)” remains an under-utilized option. GI concept and the implementation of GI emerges as a policy response to address and reverse the current rather counterproductive practice. The European Commission defines GI as a “strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features, designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services […]”. Yet, designing and implementing GI policy has proved challenging: e.g. how to safeguard sound and effective decision-making in managing complex systems with multiple stakeholders at various temporal/spatial scales, under conditions of uncertainty, with multiple conflicting interests?

The Seminar addresses the questions by discussing the science-law interface issues and the challenges and opportunities associated with the management of uncertainties and multifunctionality in GI design and implementation. The programme includes 2 sessions:

Session 1: GI and the Challenge of Uncertainty
The first session of the Seminar deals with the various aspects of uncertainty management in GI policy and law: e.g. what are the types of uncertainties in GI design and implementation? What are the possible responses in policy-making and legislation? How do these responses conflict with other legal principles (e.g. the principle of legal certainty)? 

Session 2: GI and the Challenge of Multifunctionality

The second session of the Seminar addresses the challenge of GI multifunctionality: What does it mean? What are the risks associated with multifunctionality in GI design and implementation? How to frame the trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision into GI policy and law (e.g. biodiversity conservation and other ecosystem services provision sometimes conflict)? 

This Seminar is held in preparation of a collective handbook and an international conference to be organized in December, 2021 on the legal issues of GI design and implementation. 

More information about the seminar and its programme is available here


WOODNET Project is an interdisciplinary research project on landscape connectivity for forest species. The Project is co-funded by the European Commission (BiodivERsA, https://www.biodiversa.org/1026). Workpackage 5 of the WOODNET project discusses science-policy interface and legal connectivity issues, focusing on how law may integrate both connectivity science and uncertainty to inform GI policy and provide for adaptive management.