Expert Panel discussion: Will the coronavirus pandemic have a lasting impact on Nature Conservation efforts?

2020tue12may16:00tue18:30Expert Panel discussion: Will the coronavirus pandemic have a lasting impact on Nature Conservation efforts?Expert Panel discussion16:00 - 18:30(GMT+02:00) View in my timeConferenceExpert Discussion Round

Event Details

The COVID-19 pandemic is taken much more seriously than climate overheating. Are the two emergencies competing with each other, or can the coronavirus outbreak help in addressing climate emergency? The Earth is becoming a global experimental laboratory, and we are being forced into adopting new changes that we have not yet been able to do on our own before. In recent years, we have become accustomed to the fact that most of the world’s cities with the highest air pollution are in China, but this winter, air pollution in China has dropped drastically. The reasons behind are no other than the measures taken against the coronavirus: the mass shutdown of factories and the radical decline in traffic. However, the beneficial effects of quarantine on the environment are not just about air quality. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, however, this year it is estimated that they could emit 25% less greenhouse gases.

While draconian austerity measures have halted the spread of the virus in China, the situation has become dramatic in the rest of the world. The WHO announced a pandemic on Wednesday, 11th of March, with more and more countries experiencing an exponential growth rate of spread and mortality in several countries exceeding Chinese peaks. Can the pandemic bring positive impacts for the climate globally? Instead of international agreements, change in consumer behaviour, and commitments of large industries, it would be a virus which will bring benefits for the environment? And should governments and central banks around the world invest trillions of Euros just to make sure our fossil fuel based economy can be restored to the state it was before? Should we even think about going back to “normal”, when “normal” is the problem itself?

In this panel discussion, we bring together international experts coming from different parts of the nature conservation sector, to talk about some of these questions, and discuss what they are concerned about, hopeful for, or even looking forward to in the future.



    • 12/05/2020
    • 16:00 Greetings16:00- 16:15
      Moderator Hanna Ollos introduces the Panel members
      Speakers: Hanna Ollos
    • 16:05 Discussion16:05- 16:55
      Moderated by Hanna Ollos the panel discusses if their will be a behavioural change in our society caused by the experience we all have during the COVID-19 pandemic with homeoffice work, video conferences, business travel, webinars or whether we will continue as before.
      Speakers: Hannes Knapp, John Hausdoerffer, Mauro Belardi, Max A E Rossberg, Peter Hobson, Pierre Ibisch, Vlado Vancura
    • 16:55 Coffeebreak16:55- 17:05
      Short break before the Panel discussion continues
    • 17:05 Discussion 17:05- 17:40
      The expert panel will continue to discuss the short and long term impact the COVID-19 bailout efforts of almost 10 trillion Euros has on the climate change discussion and the efforts towards a climate neutral society.
      Speakers: Hannes Knapp, John Hausdoerffer, Mauro Belardi, Max A E Rossberg, Peter Hobson, Pierre Ibisch, Vlado Vancura
    • 17:40 Question and Answer17:40- 18:20
      The panel will answer question from the attendees
      Speakers: Hannes Knapp, John Hausdoerffer, Mauro Belardi, Max A E Rossberg, Peter Hobson, Pierre Ibisch, Vlado Vancura
    • 18:20 Wrap-Up and Summary18:20- 18:30
      Closing of the panel discussion by the moderator and summary of the main conclusions of the discussion

Online Event Details

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12/05/2020 16:00 - 18:30 CET(GMT+02:00)

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Speakers for this event

  • Hanna ÖLLÖS

    Hanna ÖLLÖS

    European Wilderness Society

    A graduate biologist, nature enthusiast, optimist and woman of action, hoping to make a small but significant contribution to the preservation of Wilderness. A European Wilderness Society team member based in the main office in Tamsweg in the beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lungau, Austria.

    I am the focal point for the INTERREG Centralparks project aiming to build management capacities of Carpathian protected areas for the integration and harmonisation of biodiversity protection and local socio-economic development.

    I am also supporting the Livestock Protection projects managed and supported by the European Wilderness Society.

    European Wilderness Society

  • Hannes Knapp

    Hannes Knapp

    Primeval Forest Expert and BfN Expert (ret), Germany

    Prof. Dr. Hannes Knapp is a geobotanist and landscape ecologist. Protecting Europe’s last old-growth beech forests is among his heartfelt wishes. Hannes Knapp has been instrumental in making valuable beech forests in Germany, Ukraine and Slovakia UNESCO World Heritage sites. Among other awards, he received the Great Binding Prize in 2013 for his tireless efforts.

    Hannes Knapp, was head of the International Academy for Nature Conservation of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation on the island of Vilm from its foundation in 1990 until 2015. One of his declared aims is to establish a network for the protection of primeval and old beech forests in as many countries as possible.

    Primeval Forest Expert and BfN Expert (ret), Germany

  • Jo Roberts

    Jo Roberts

    CEO of The Wilderness Foundation UK

    Jo Roberts has been a Director and Chief Executive of the Wilderness Foundation since 2004, but has been involved as Projects Director and Project Coordinator since 1998. She focuses on the effects of wilderness on developing sound youth leadership built on environmental awareness and ethics, and developing positive wellbeing and mental health in young people who are vulnerable or at risk.

    Using the extensive wilderness network and her close link to South Africa and programmes running there, she merges best practice from around the world into creative programmes that suit British climate and culture. Over the past 20 years, Jo has established a wide range of programmes within the Foundation to meet these needs of nature connections, individuals and society as a whole. These include Wild Swans women’s leadership, Sirius Environmental Leadership Programme, TurnAround Programme, Out There Programme and the Chatham Green Education Programme. Jo also leads the South Africa wilderness trails out reach – keeping her love of the wild intact and sharing this with others.

    CEO of The Wilderness Foundation UK

  • John Hausdoerffer

    John Hausdoerffer

    Author and Dean of the School of Environment & Sustainability at the Western Colorado University, USA

    John Hausdoerffer is the founding Dean of the School of Environment & Sustainability and Director of the Master in Environmental Management program at Western Colorado University. One of his focus topics is peace between humanity and wilderness, which begins with spiritual connection. His successful books “Catlin’s Lament” and “Wildness” delve into these fundamentals. Further, John has co-founded numerous institutes to unite environmental work to help in conservation and find shared solutions. These include the Coldharbour Institute, Resilience Studies Consortium, Mountain Resilience Coalition and Sisters City International.

    Author and Dean of the School of Environment & Sustainability at the Western Colorado University, USA

  • Mauro Belardi

    Mauro Belardi

    Large carnivores expert Chairman of the NGO Eliante, Italy

    As biologist and design expert, Mauro Belardi has worked in the environmental field since the mid-90s, collaborating with many organisations including WWF, LIPU, Faunaviva. He started as a trained ornitologist but his currently focuses on conservation projects for large carnivores. He has been a project manager for activities both nationally and internationally and has extensive experience in the management of protected areas. He currently represents WWF Italy on the Board of the European Alps Program and in the related Large Carnivores Group. He has been president of the organisation Eliante since 2007, in which he has also taken the role of project manager in various European projects.

    Large carnivores expert Chairman of the NGO Eliante, Italy

  • Max A E Rossberg

    Max A E Rossberg

    Chairman of the European Wilderness Society

    Max Rossberg gained his international marketing expertise by graduating with a Bachelor in Commerce in International Business and a Master of Management Science in International Marketing at the Sprot School of Business at the Carleton University, Canada. He then joined after his graduation international corporations in Germany, Holland, Sweden, Spain, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, Canada and Ireland.

    As the chairman of the European Wilderness Society he is based in UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lungau in the Austrian Alps, from where he works and travel throughout Europe.


    Chairman of the European Wilderness Society

  • Peter Hobson

    Peter Hobson

    Professor of the School of Sustainable Environments at Writtle University College, United Kingdom

    Dr. Peter Hobson at Writtle University College, is a research champion for the School of Sustainable Environments. Currently, his research interests include proxy measures of ecosystem resilience and thermodynamic efficiency in forests and other semi-natural landscapes with a view to mitigating against the impacts of climate change. This aspect of research has been carried out in collaboration with international partners including Oulanka Biological Station (Oulu University,Finland), Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (Germany), and with the Ukraine Biosphere Reserve. The findings of this research have been presented at international conferences (e.g., ECCB, IUFRO, COP10 Nagoya meeting) and also published in a variety of formats. Peter also acts as scientific advisor on various UK Government agency steering groups including the Environment Agency for East of England, the Forestry Commission Regional Woodland Group, and the Chelmsford and Essex Biodiversity Action Group.

    Professor of the School of Sustainable Environments at Writtle University College, United Kingdom

  • Pierre Ibisch

    Pierre Ibisch

    Professor for Nature Conservation at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany

    As a professor for Nature Conservation Prof. Dr. Pierre Ibisch is with the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany. He has a strong background in conservation and development in South America where he has lived and worked for about a decade. Former dean of the faculty of Forest and Environment and founding head of the international Masters programme Global Change Management (among others, teaching experience in biodiversity conservation, system theory, global change ecology, adaptation). After holding a research professorship for “Biodiversity conservation and natural resource management under global change”, in 2015 he was awarded an extraordinary research professorship for “Ecosystem-based sustainable development”. He is implementing research projects and consultancy work on the adaptation of conservation to climate/global change in Latin America, Asia and Europe. Ample publication experience (including peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters), editor and author of a major textbook on biodiversity and conservation in Bolivia. Acting as advisor in various conservation and sustainability-related commissions. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Conservation Biology – Europe Section. He serves as vice chair of the board of Deutsche Umweltstiftung.

    Professor for Nature Conservation at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany

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