Conference in Alicante, Spain
13th European Conference on Ecological Restoration - Restoring Nature, Reconnecting People (5th to 9th Sep 2022)
The conference on ecological restoration #sere2022 in Alicante is over, and I am now leaving with mixed feelings!
It was great to be back in Alicante. I have very fond memories of my research stay here 2.5 years ago. The people here welcomed me warmly back then. So it was great to see them again, and also to meet new people from all over the world who care about our home planet. After all, an on-site conference is much more connecting than online conferences. We are social beings and we need direct exchange, also in research. I was happy to be able to present both my research from my PhD thesis on the restoration of Mediterranean-type ecosystems and my current project on sustainable rainforest management. Although I had an inspiring time here in Alicante, I leave with a bitter aftertaste. We restoration scientists, of all people, should be role models for our society. The way we hold conferences are anything but sustainable. I am in favour of hybrid conferences held in parallel at multiple locations to minimize emissions from travelling, as well as all-organic and plant-based catering at conferences. What credibility do we have as environmental scientists when we fly from all over the world to conferences where we eat foods that cause suffering to the environment and living beings?