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Biodiversity Platform

Research project OA/03 (Research action OA)

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Description :


That scientists live and work in an ivory tower is a perception, which, unfortunately, is not entirely incorrect. Many scientists, especially those working in fundamental research, are by necessity highly specialised. However, it is fundamental that scientific research is adequately embedded in society. In order to maximise societal relevance of research, scientists need to be actively involved in the planning of both general, as well as science policy. The Biodiversity Platform supports and promotes biodiversity researchers to contribute to this goal.
The project moreover complies with a request from the European Commission to establish a national biodiversity platform as a node for the European Platform on Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS).

Project description

The mission of the platform is:
- to promote interactions amongst scientists (both those working in universities as well as those working in other research institutions), between scientists and policy makers, and between scientists and the public with an interest in biodiversity science;
- to advise Belgian, European and regional decision makers in the field of biodiversity science policy.


- To support and promote the Belgian science community involved in biodiversity research.
- To support Belgian, European and regional science policies and to bridge the gap between biodiversity research and nature/environmental policies.
- To open up biodiversity research to the public with an interest in biodiversity science.

Strategic objectives:

Assess Belgian biodiversity research
Promote communication:
1. amongst researchers;
2. between researchers and policy makers;
3. between researchers and the public with an interest in biodiversity research.
Advise decision makers on biodiversity science policy on national, European and regional level.

Operational objectives:

Analyse the inventory of Belgian scientific research in biodiversity (BIODIV database)
Developing integrated communication tools:
- establishing a website (;
- organise electronic conferences about specific issues related to biodiversity;
- organise workshops, colloquia, congresses (national and international);
- develop thematic forums, which are consultative bodies between researchers and policy-makers;
- Authoring, editing of publications (newsletters, proceedings, reviews, etc…).
- Advise on the designation of research priorities.
- Participate in the development of biodiversity research policies.
- Support international conventions, institutions, meetings and reports in the field of biodiversity research policy.

Interactions between the different partners

The concerned partners work in close consultation. The assignment of tasks is adjusted in a dynamic way to the needs of the Belgian Science Policy Office, the Belgian scientific community and the EPBRS. Specific expertise and interests are taken into account while developing the platform. Cross-cutting activities are organized in consultation between the different partners.

Link with international programmes

The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is the Belgian node to the European Platform on Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) and DIVERSITAS. It is also involved in the national node of Fauna Europea. The Platform serves as the secretariat of EPBRS. As active participant of the CCIM-CCPIE (Co-ordination Committee for International Environmental Policies) steering groups on biodiversity and nature it contributes to the reporting obligations on the status of biodiversity research to international conventions.

Expected results and/or products

- Improved co-operation between researchers.
- Increased participation of Belgian Biodiversity researchers in international scientific programmes.
- Better communication between researchers and policy makers in the field of biodiversity.
- Involvement of researchers in the development of a policy on biodiversity research.
- Formulating advice on biodiversity research.
- Recognition as information hatch to the public with an interest in biodiversity science.


The Belgian Science Policy Office is the only Belgian government body that has a specific research programme on biodiversity, notwithstanding that biodiversity itself is a regional competence. The partners within the programme were therefore selected within the regions (RCNFW and IN), and within the federal research institutes (RBINS). Each of the partners has a good reputation in the field of biodiversity research.

Contact Information

Website: www.biodiversity/be/bbpf/

Etienne Branquart
Partim "Terrestrial Ecosystems"
Ministère de la Region wallonne (MRW)
Centre de Recherche de la Nature, des Forets et du Bois (CRNFB)
23, Avenue Marechal Juin
B-5030 Gembloux
Tel: +32 (0)81 62 04 20
Fax: +32 (0)81 62 04 36

Hendrik Segers
Partim “Freshwater Ecosystems”
Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS)
Vautierstraat 29
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 627 43 10
Fax: +32 (0)2 627 43 15

Jurgen Tack
Partim “Marine Ecosystems”
Instituut voor Natuurbehoud (IN)
Kliniekstraat 25
B-1070 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 528 89 20
Fax: +32 (0)2 558 18 05

Users Committee

The Biodiversity Platform co-operates closely with representatives of other organisations and initiatives in the field of biodiversity. Those projects are co-ordinated by the federal and regional authorities, e.g.
• the National focal point Convention Biological Diversity and the Steering Group Convention Biological Diversity of the CCIM/CCPIE
• the National focal point (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) – BeBIF
• the metadata base ‘resources in biodiversity’ (Biodiv-Belnet)
• the responsibles of the regional scientific institutes (IN, BIM, CRNFB)

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