Viewing tip - watch the debate café: Biodiversity as European Policy of Thursday 21 April
The European Parliament Liaison Office in the Netherlands and Studium Generale Maastricht were delighted to invite you to the debate café on biodiversity as European policy. Together with MEP Anja Hazekamp, amongst others, we discussed various important questions related to the EU’s biodiversity strategy. Rick van der Kleij moderated the event.
As humans, we believe we are separate from nature at times, although we are part of an ecosystem that includes animals, plants, insects and bacteria. Biodiversity is the backbone of life as it is necessary for humans both for environmental and climate protection purposes, as well as to sustain our economy. However, biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, with species disappearing on a daily basis all across the planet. Climate change is accelerating this process. The EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 is a key point in the European Green Deal, but is it enough to put biodiversity on a path to recovery? The European Parliament has sounded the alarm, calling for a ‘Paris Agreement’ and a European Biodiversity Law, in order to restore our ecosystems.
During the debate café, the below listed panel of experts discussed these issues, touching upon some key questions. What impact does the loss of biodiversity have on our environment? Is the EU’s present biodiversity strategy sufficiently ambitious? Is it true that commercial concerns frequently take precedence over biodiversity?
Panel of speakers:
- MEP Anja Hazenkamp (PvdD/ The Left)
- Raf de Bont, Professor at Maastricht University
- Pim Martens, Dean Maastricht University College, Campus Venlo
- Louise Vet, Professor at Wageningen University
You can watch the debate here.
The debate was held in English.
Find out more about the speakers:
MEP Anja Hazekamp
Anja Hazekamp studied biology at Groningen University. In her early career, she worked for various animal welfare organizations. Over a decade ago, she became politically active for the Partij van de Dieren. In 2007, she was elected to the Provincial Council in Groningen and, in 2012, she briefly replaced a member of the party in the Second Chamber. In 2014, she was elected to the European Parliament where she is currently vice-chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,a member of the Committee on Fisheries and a substitute to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. Anja Hazenkamp is a passionate advocate of animal welfare within and outside the European Parliament.
Prof. dr. Raf de Bont
Raf de Bont holds the chair History of Science and the Environment at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He studied History at the University of Leuven and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2005, he took his doctoral degree with a thesis on the reception(s) of evolution theory in Belgium. Before coming to Maastricht, he has been a postdoc at the University of Leuven and a visiting fellow at Cambridge University and Imperial College London.
Prof. dr. Pim Martens
Pim Martens has a PhD in applied mathematics ànd biological sciences. He is professor of Sustainable Development and dean of Maastricht University College, Campus Venlo. Prof. Martens is project-leader and principal investigator of several projects related to sustainability science and education, in the context of human-animal-nature relationships, and environmental (climate) change and health. He is passionate to bring about the needed sustainable change in our relationship with nature and the animals we live with.
Prof. dr. Louise Vet
Louise Vet is former-director of NIOO-KNAW (1999-2019) and emeritus professor in Evolutionary Ecology at Wageningen University. She is a biologist with a broad interest in ecology and evolution of multitrophic interactions. Her research involves chemical, behavioral and molecular ecology of plants and insects in a community context, delivering basic knowledge for the strategic development of sustainable agro-ecosystems that are primarily based on the prevention of pests and diseases (life-support function of biodiversity). She is an elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
This event was organised in collaboration with Studium Generale Maastricht.