The EU FP7 projects BioFresh and REFRESH organised the Science Policy Symposium for Freshwater Life. This was for both projects the final symposium. The Water Lives Symposium took place from 29-30 January 2014 at the Museum of Natural Sciences (RBINS), Brussels, Belgium, which was an attractive venue, not only because of the facilities but also because of the atmosphere and being closed to many European institutions and policy makers.
The symposium offered the opportunity for stakeholders and scientists to discuss challenges to implementing the 2020 Bio- diversity strategy and the EU Water Framework Directive and to explore the mechanisms for better integrating freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem science into policy.
More than 120 participants (Policy makers at EU level, stakeholders (administration, business and civil society) from water management biodiversity conservation and related policy sectors (agriculture and energy) at EU and national level, scientific community (including FP7 projects) from all over Europe attended the meeting. The symposium mixed presentations from different perspectives (including contributions from the European Commission) with various interactive elements (e.g. round table dialogues, moderated discussions, panel discussion, poster presentations) to facilitate an intensive exchange between science, policy makers and stakeholders.