Proceedings of the international conférence held in Paris on 13 June 2014 by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and IDDRI, in collaboration with the National Library of France.

Key messages:

  • Thinking upstream about the linkages between innovation and biodiversity helps to reduce the negative impacts on the latter. Mainstreaming biodiversity into sectoral policies, including innovation, is a prerequisite for maintaining ecosystems.
  • Technological innovations for biodiversity monitoring are part of a very political process. This process requires transparent communication. Communities, civil society and policymakers need to make a concerted effort to seize hold of the growing amount of available tools and data, and organise and implement these tools for a better management of ecosystems. Capacity building is therefore essential.
  • The innovations necessary for the conservation of biodiversity are not only technological. They are conditioned by the existence of organisational and socio-economic innovation. It is essential to give consideration to the governance of actors and innovation systems.
  • Access to technological innovation is often expensive. In a context of reducing North- South transfers, unequal access to technology thus entails the risk of creating a twotier system of biodiversity conservation. Shared access to technologies, data and its processing is therefore a major challenge for global solidarity.
  • Access to innovations and their circulation is a major issue of social justice, but also a necessary condition for innovation. The agricultural innovation process must be regulated to ensure the equitable distribution of benefits, without restricting those wishing to explore the trajectories of change.
  • Environmental regulations should not only serve as limitations to the development of human activities, although such limitations are indeed necessary, but should also be designed to promote and guide biodiversity-friendly innovations. The precautionary principle must be well understood as a fundamental incentive for research and innovation.
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