Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Assessment


Biodiversity Knowledge

Developing a Knowledge Network for EUropean expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform policymaking economic sectors

Knowledge about biodiversity and ecosystem services is well advanced in the European scientific community, as demonstrated by many excellent projects and their scientific impact. However, on the global as well as the European scale, there was a failure to communicate the knowledge gained into the policymaking process and society as a whole. Such communication efforts must ensure that all relevant knowledge is accessible and that all existing biodiversity research communities and other knowledge holders are involved in a network structure that is linked to decision-making bodies.


The overall objective of the project therefore was to develop a recommended design for a scientific biodiversity Network of Knowledge (NoK) to inform policymakers and other societal actors. This network shouldl be open, transparent, flexible, equally accessible to all, independent, scientifically- and evidence-based, and have a robust structure. It needed to develop links to relevant clients to support the science-society interface in Europe and beyond. To achieve this, the project brought together expertise from all major biodiversity research fields (in the consortium and beyond).

Time frame

This project started in November 2011 and ended in April 2014.


The project had 18 European partners: 

  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Für Umweltforschung GmbH (UFZ), Germany – Project coordinator
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), United Kingdom
  • Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique (RBINS), Belgium
  • CLIMAR - Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR), Portugal
  • Stichting Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Voor Zeeonderzoek (NIOZ), the Netherlands
  • Fondation Française pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB), France
  • Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (Alterra), the Netherlands
  • Universität Wien (UNIVIE), Austria
  • Stiftelsen Norsk Institutt for Naturforskning (NINA), Norway
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Spain
  • Mta Okologiai Es Botanikai Kutatointezete (IEB HAS), Hungary
  • ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation, the Netherlands
  • Bangor University (Bangor), United Kingdom
  • Eigen Vermogen van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (EVINBO), Belgium
  • Umweltbundesamt GmbH (EAA), Austria
  • Suomen Ymparistokeskus (SYKE), Finland
  • Botanical, Environmental & Conservation Consultants Limited (BEC), Ireland
  • Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee VZW (VLIZ), Belgium


The project was funded under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), developing a European scientific biodiversity Network to inform policymaking and economic sectors Theme (ENV.2010.2.1.4-3), coordination and support action funding scheme. Grant agreement number 265299.


As part of the project ECNC mapped Europe’s biodiversity knowledge landscape, contributed to the development of the Network of Knowledge (NoK) and to the final white paper (see right) and conference.