Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

First eLTER regional cluster meetings in Brussels and Uppsala

5 May 2023

On 17-18 January the eLTER coordination, National Coordinators and site managers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK gathered in Brussels to discuss current developments in their national networks.

The meeting proved to be a great opportunity to identify common challenges and exchange experiences with pushing forward national processes towards establishing eLTER. Moreover, the participants were thoroughly updated on the current status of eLTER from a European perspective.

“It was a useful opportunity to share thoughts with, and learn from, other countries regarding national eLTER development approaches and challenges, and to clarify various issues with the Head Office team”, said Don Monteith from the UK team.

Participants were happy to learn about the development not only of the project in general, but of the other national networks: learn from each other's mistakes, borrow good ideas and improve shared practices.

This is best summarised by Nathalie Cools from Belgium: "The cluster meeting was a very instructive and helpful meeting for us as national coordinators. We now know better where we stand in the eLTER process compared to our neighbouring country networks.”

The second regional cluster meeting was held on 13-14 March in Uppsala, Sweden, where the eLTER coordination, National Coordinators, as well as site and data managers from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia, came together. Further participants from Latvia, Lithuania and the eLTER Head Office, amongst others, joined virtually.

Participants emphasised the value of learning from other countries’ experiences with obtaining national funding and ministerial support. The constructive discussions yielded several ideas about how to move forward and join forces in the region, including a potential workshop for arctic sites and further collaboration in the context of the BioDT project.

Photo: Participants during the first eLTER regional cluster meeting in Brussels