Biodiverse fields, nature-friendly banks, verges rich with herbs a fruit orchard in a car-free, energy-generating area with the Botanical Gardens at its heart. A landscape where green spaces are connected to each other and to the natural areas surrounding it. This could just be a picture of the Utrecht Science Park (USP) in 2035.

Utrecht University aims to strengthen biodiversity globally and locally. This ambition is part of the Strategic Plan. How do we make this happen and why is it deemed necessary?

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Strategy and Policy

In the upcoming policy period, biodiversity will be enhanced and restored, and sustainable use of biodiversity is encouraged by:

1. Effectively regreening university grounds
2. Reducing Utrecht University's ecological footprint
3. Increasing impact

Biodiversity Council

To make optimal use of our own scientific expertise, a Biodiversity Council has been appointed. The council supports policy development from a scientific viewpoint and provides the Executive Board with solicited and unsolicited advice on how the university can strengthen biodiversity. The council members are professors of various disciplines. 

The members: 

  • Merel Soons
    Professor, focus ecology, biodiversity and nature conservation - Chair
  • Edwin Pos 
    Scientific director Botanical Gardens
  • Hens Runhaar
    Associate professor of Governance of Nature and Biodiversity, Copernicus Institute
  • Marie-Jeanne Schiffelers
    Associate professor, senior advisor and manager USBO consultancy

Biodiversity Dossier

The university has made various dossiers, in order to make (ongoing) research and initiatives related to a certain theme understandable and comprehensible to a general audience. As such, a Biodiversity Dossier has been compiled as well.

  • News about biodiversity

    • ‘Worthless’ forest carbon offsets risk exacerbating climate change

      Critical claims that the United Nations' anti-deforestation program REDD+ falls far short of its promises are indeed valid. The concept was to achieve less deforestation and more CO2 reduction, but the disappointing outcomes are extremely worrying, writes Julia Jones.
    • IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac International Conference 2023

      From June 28th to June 30th, the IOS Fair Transitions Platform and LANDac are hosting the IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac International Conference 2023 at the heart of Utrecht City Centre. Join us!
    • Fragmented habitats may need to be better connected than previously thought

      A model study reveals that the seeds of plants in small, fragmented habitats can abruptly evolve in such a way that they can no longer travel long distances.
    • Join us for the IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Summer School

      We are excited to host a range of lectures and activities at the crossroads of the fair transitions and land governance debates in this year’s Summer School: Fair Transitions and the Politics of Land: Institutions and Imaginaries for Inclusive Futures. We hope it will draw many of you to Utrecht!
    • Meet the BioCliVE!

      BioCliVE , an experiment in the Utrecht University Botanical Gardens by the Ecology and Biodiversity group of the department of Biology, replicates natural grasslands to study the effect of climate change on this kind of ecosystem.