On 15th June the launch event of the Interreg Europe project “From Biodiversity data to decisions: enhancing natural heritage through improved regional development policies (BID-REX)” was held in Solsona (Catalonia, ES), in the venue of the Forest Science Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), the lead partner of the project.

The aim of the BID-REX is to facilitate the use of biodiversity information and increase the impact of ERDF allocation in the preservation of the European natural heritage, and this was the guiding theme of the event. In addition of the introduction of the project, we invited Peter Torkler and Sara Vallecillo in order to know previous approaches related to this issue.   

Peter Torkler (Managing director of the Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation) gave to the attendants a good perspective about his previous work related to the natural heritage conservation funding, by a conference titled “Why enhancing biodiversity financing through EU funded regional and sectoral policies”.  

Furthermore, Sara Vallecillo (Scientific Project Officer of the European Commission - Joint Research Centre Institute for Environment and Sustainability) introduced how biodiversity information can inform the authorities, by a conference titled “MAES initiative and environmental data integration across Europe”.  

After this good starting point, Gerard Bota (Senior Executive of the project, CTFC) introduced the project and later each region explained the policy instrument that would like to address during an informal cocktail into the hall, where the 41 attendants interacted with each other and commented the information presented during the day.  To conclude, Luc Derochette (Coordinator of Natura2000, Service Public of Wallonia) invited the attendants to the workshop "Information needs for decision makers" which will be held in Wallonia (BE) on January 2017.

In addition, on 14th June the partnership performed the steering group meeting of the BID-REX, where the next steps of the project were defined.