BIOECON (BIOdiversity and Economics for Conservation – BIOECON) is an interdisciplinary network aiming to advance economic theory and policy for biodiversity conservation. BIOECON assembles economists, lawyers and scientists from leading international academic and research institutions and main policy organisations working on design and implementation of cutting edge economic incentives for biodiversity conservation.
The network is the outgrowth of a project supported by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme contributing to the implementation of Key Action 2: Global Change, Climate and Biodiversity within the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme. After its conclusion, the partners have continued to operate the conference in recognition of the large group of students and academics interested in working in this field, and in recognition of the need for a forum for their work. Over the past ten years, the network and conference has also served as a forum for policy organisations and government analysts to gather and to consider biodiversity and conservation issues as well.
In 2011 the Network has been institutionalised, enlarging its partnership to outstanding institutions and research centres all over the world, working on biodiversity issues under different perspectives, reaching thus the number of thirty members.
The principal aim of BIOECON is to investigate the economic and policy driven forces responsible for decline of biodiversity, and accordingly, to develop and implement tools, i.e. incentive mechanisms, that could halt if not reverse the effects of these forces.
BIOECON wants to encourage: (i) to utilise a multidisciplinary approach to assess the social forces behind biodiversity change; (ii) to assess the ecological and socio-economic consequences of this change, (iii) to comprehend the interplay of these consequences; and (iv) to provide concrete policy responses for addressing biodiversity change. These overarching aims are pursued via individual projects developed within the network partnership on all three levels of biodiversity, namely the genetic, species, and ecosystem level.
BIOECON serves as a catalyst to spread the main results of research and practices on these themes, through a series of activities, amongst which its annual meeting, that represents an opportunity for networking, and sharing lessons and experiences with other researchers, environmental professionals, international organizations and policy makers.