The SER2017 Organizing Committee is now inviting applications from ecological restoration projects in South America that would like to partner with us in our effort to offset the environmental impact of the conference.
Overview of the Program
SER2017 is an exciting opportunity to bring restoration professionals from around the world together in Foz do Iguaçu for a week of networking and knowledge-sharing. We recognize, however, that large events such as this have a significant environmental impact and that the nature of our mission brings a unique responsibility to offset this impact to the extent possible.
In addition to choosing environmentally friendly alternatives where feasible to reduce the footprint of SER2017 in the first instance, we will also seek to offset the impact of attendee travel and onsite food, beverage and energy consumption by investing in an ecological restoration project in Brazil or elsewhere in South America. Although we considered supporting a project specifically focused on carbon sequestration, the Organizing Committee ultimately decided that an ecological restoration project would provide an opportunity to compensate for some of the carbon emissions generated by the conference, while at the same time directly supporting restoration efforts in the host region and contributing to wider ecological and social benefits through a more holistic type of project.
How the Program Works
We have encouraged conference attendees to make a voluntary contribution to the Offsets Program when they register for the conference through our online form. We will also provide an opportunity for donations onsite at the conference. Attendees can contribute as much or as little as they choose, but we encourage all participants at SER2017 to consider at least a small donation to help mitigate their own impact and ensure that we, collectively, offset as much of the conference footprint as possible.
In addition to these individual donations, the SER2017 Organizing Committee will donate a portion of the conference income to help offset our collective impact during the event. This base contribution will be made on behalf of the entire delegation.
To select the project that receives funds collected through the Offsets Program, we are running an open call for applications as detailed below. Through this application process, the Organizing Committee will select between three and four finalists, depending on the number of deserving applicants. We will announce these finalists onsite at the conference, and will invite those attendees who have made a donation of any amount to the Offsets Program to cast a vote on the winner. The project that garners the most votes from among our finalists will receive a donation on behalf of the conference.
Projects Selected as Finalists
- Projects chosen as finalists by the SER2017 Organizing Committee will all receive exposure at the conference and will be featured as part of conference activities. We will include project information in the conference program book and will seek to give these projects as much visibility as possible through onsite communications about the offsets program and the voting process.
- The project that is ultimately chosen as the winner by a vote of participating conference attendees will be recognized during the event and will receive a one-time donation equivalent to the total funds raised under the offsets program. The amount of funding will not be known until after the conference when finances are settled and we can calculate the fixed donation to be made on behalf of the entire delegation.
- The winning project will be featured in a post-conference issue of SER’s quarterly newsletter, SERNews. The other finalists will also be mentioned in this same issue of the newsletter, albeit with less prominence.
- Applications must be submitted using the Word template provided below. All information on the form is required, and incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Applications can be submitted in English, Portuguese or Spanish.
- At least two project photos (resolution 300 dpi) are required in addition to the completed application. Photos should depict the scope of the restoration effort, the successes achieved by the project to date, and/or the unique qualities of the site. They can include: before/after sequences showing the extent of recovery; use of the restored site by native species; people conducting restoration activities at the site; and/or the connection between the project and local communities.
- Completed applications should be submitted as an email attachment at email address. The deadline to apply is Sunday, July 30, 2017.
- We will encourage representatives from each of the projects chosen as finalists to prepare a poster presentation for display at the conference. Posters are highly desired to help communicate about the program, but are not required.
- Attendance at the conference is highly encouraged, but is also not required.
- Ecological restoration projects are the only projects eligible under this program.
- The project must be located in South America.
- The project should be designed and implemented based on ecological restoration best practice, including but not limited to use of an appropriate reference ecosystem and native biota.
- The project must be ongoing (i.e. in progress and not yet completed).
- The project should emphasize meaningful engagement of local communities and other stakeholders and have sufficient support to be sustained into the future.
- Outreach activities should be ongoing, such that information about the project is being disseminated to an external audience (academic and non-academic).
- Projects directly involving members of the SER2017 Organizing Committee or the Steering Group for the SER2017 Program Committee are not eligible to apply. This includes projects for which committee members or their home organizations/institutions may be involved in implementing restoration activities, funding restoration activities, advising on aspects of the restoration work, or otherwise directly assisting the project.
Download the Application!
Click here to download the application template in Microsoft Word.
The completed forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .