Department of Conservation Biology & Social-Ecological Systems

Working Group - Biodiversity Science-Policy Interface (B-SPI)

B-SPI team in two pics
B-SPI Team
(From Left to right: Anja Schmidt, Candice Pouget, Diana Dushkova, Marie Vandewalle (Lead), Stefan Knauss, Hari Sundaram and Karla Locher (first person on the left in the second picture) - not on photos: Olya Ivlieva)

The Biodiversity Science Policy Interface (B-SPI) Working group is an interdisciplinary team embedded in a well-connected international community of experts working at the interface and acting as knowledge brokers at UFZ and at European and global scale.

The group’s main mission through their activities and involvement in diverse research and coordinated action projects is to work on improving the interdisciplinary design, ethics, effectiveness, orchestration and impact of Science Policy interfaces to support biodiversity conservation and sustainability transformation.

 The realm of work includes:

  • Ratcheting up EU Biodiversity commitments: The group aims to connect research results to the needs of environmental policy in a targeted dialogue between science, other knowledge holders and policy actors.
  • Transforming science policy interface: the group aims at taking a front role in understanding and developing the next generation of SPIs leading to transformative change.
  • Co-producing Knowledge for evidence-based policy-making: The group aims to strengthen an inclusive and evidence-based approach to policy-making and support evidence-informed policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services related issues.
  • Research on evolving SPI landscape: the group aims at analyzing ways of improving SPI efficiency and at measuring impact of SPI strategies.
  • Improving stakeholder engagement in SPIs: the group aims to tailor empowerment programme for optimisation of inclusion of stakeholders in SPI processes; in various settings for example from implementing nature-based solutions to designing the Science Service.
  • Silo breaking: the group aims at facilitating cross-sectoral/silo dialogue to optimize the identification of knowledge needs and gaps, and coordination and coherence across policy sectors
  • Developing Ethical infrastructures at the SPI: the group aim at supporting new EU actors establishing their ethical infrastructure to enhance their perceived legitimacy and credibility of their process.

Ongoing work and projects

The group is currently leading or highly involved in:

EU Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe projects:

  • BioAgora HE project (Bio Knowledge Agora: Developing the Science Service for European Research and Biodiversity Policymaking, 2022 - 2027) - Scientific Co-coordination
  • EmpowerUs HE project (Socio-economic Empowerment of coastal communities as users of the sea to ensure sustainable coastal development, 2022 - 2025) - WP4 lead
  • RECONECT H2020 project (Regenarating ECOsystems with Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk rEduCTion, 2018-2024), in collaboration with SUSOZ members
  • BioValue HE project (Biodiversity value in spatial policy and planning leveraging multi-level and transformative change, 2022 - June 2025), in collaboration with UPOL members - WP lead
  • Faktencheck Artenvielfalt (Biodiversity Assessment Germany, - 2024) - Scientific coordination
  • Eco-Ready HE project (Achieving Ecological Resilient Dynamism for the European food system through consumer-driven policies, socio-ecological challenges, biodiversity, data-driven policy, sustainable futures, 2023 - 2027) - Tasks lead
  • RESTOREID HE project (Restoring Ecosystems to Stop the Threat Of (Re)- Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2024 - 2028)

European SPIs and networks:

 The group has been leading or was highly involved in:

  • EU FP7 BiodiversityKnowledge / KNEU project (2011 - 2015): Project management
  • DG ENV service contract EUBES: Towards an EU mechanism interfacing science and policy on biodiversity and ecosystems services (2012 - 2015): Core team
  • EU H2020 EKLIPSE (2016 - 2022): Project Coordinator (from 2019)
  • European Environment Agency (ETC/CCA- European Topic Centre on Climate Change impacts, vulnerability and Adaptation) (2019 - 2021): Deputy Task leader and lead author in EEA report: “Nature-based solutions in Europe: Policy, knowledge and practice for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction”.