International summer school on vulnerable ecosystems


The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is organising an international summer school on biodiversity in Haute Provence (France) from 27 August - 8 September. The goal of this summer school is to give young scientists skills to apply their knowlege of ecosystem services in their later professional careers, whether in biodiversity research or in the management of nature reserves. The summer school is financed by the network of excellence ALTER-Net (A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network). This EU-funded network aims at integrating biodiversity research and assessing and forecasting biodiversity changes, thus contributing to the development of sustainable management policies for European ecosystems.

The biodiversity of ecosystems has never before been so threatened, particularly through pressures such as land-use change, pollution, climate change and invasive species. Diminishing biodiversity of ecosystems will in turn affect how people live in future and human survival. Current European capability and knowledge on the subject is considerable but it is also dipersed and cannot easily provide the information needed to address these questions on a European scale.

Renowned scientists will present their latest scientific insights on ecological processes and scenario development in a relaxed atmosphere to 36 graduate students and young scientists from Europe, Australia and Asia in the picturesque village of Peyresq in southern France. The students will apply what they have learned in case studies in their tutored working groups, integrating social, ethical and policy aspects as well. An excursion will exemplify present land-use changes in Haute Provence. For example, during the last couple of years the lavender plantations on the Valensole Plateau have been reduced and replaced by oak tree plantations for truffle growing. People from Les Salles-sur-Verdon will tell the students about the flooding of their village, caused by the building of the Ste. Croix reservoir. A visit to the Gorge du Verdon and a discussion with local representatives from the natural park of Verdon will round off the excursion.

Contact, phone: +49-331-288-2538, phone: +49-331-288-2521

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