Department of Conservation Biology
Working Group - Biodiversity Science-Policy Interface (B-SPI)
Mission / Vision of the group:
Improving the interdisciplinary design, ethics, effectiveness, orchestration and impact of Science Policy interfaces (SPIs) to support biodiversity conservation and sustainability transformation.
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 members are closely working with policy makers at different levels: with various directories generals of the European Commission, the Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity (EC- KCBD), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and other societal actors (e.g IUCN, Office francais de la Biodiversité (OFB), World Health Organisation (WHO), etc) and is leading or heavily involved in key Science Policy Interfaces (SPIs) e.g. Eklipse, Alternet, Biodiversa+, Science Service (Bio Knowledge Agora: Developing the Science Service for European Research and Biodiversity Policymaking). The group was also highly involved in setting up the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy of IPBES and was a pioneer in researching and building a strong ethical infrastructure for SPIs. They published more than 15 key publications relevant to the topic in the last 10 years.
Within the UFZ, our group is part of the Science-Policy Expert Group (SPEG) and would be interested in reviving its concept and its activities, and reproducing the UFZ SPI seminar that was successfully held and livestreamed in 2019.
The aim of our research
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 will include for example:
- Strategic science policy interface: the group aims at taking a front role in understanding and developing the next generation of SPIs leading to transformative change.
- 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.
- Ratcheting up EU Biodiversity commitment: 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.
- 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
- Ethical challenges 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.
The group is currently leading or highly involved in:
EU Horizon 2020 / Europe projects:
- RECONECT project (Regenarating ECOsystems with Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk rEduCTion, 2018-2024), in collaboration with SUSOZ members
- BIO-Agora project (Bio Knowledge Agora: Developing the Science Service for European Research and Biodiversity Policymaking, 2022 - 2027)
- EmpowerUs project (Socio-economic Empowerment of coastal communities as users of the sea to ensure sustainable coastal development, 2022 - 2025), in collaboration with SUSOZ members
- BioValue project (Biodiversity value in spatial policy and planning leveraging multi-level and transformative change, 2022 - June 2025), in collaboration with UPOL members
- Faktencheck Artenvielfalt (Biodiversity Assessment Germany, - 2024)
SPIs mechanism and networks:
- Eklipse self-sustaining mechanism (2020 - ongoing)
- Alternet NGO (2020 - ongoing)
- European Partnership for Biodiversity - Biodiversa+ ( 2022 - ongoing)
- ENoN – the European Network of Networks for Science-Policy-Society Interfaces (SPSI) on Biodiversity (2021 - ongoing )
The group has been leading or highly involved in:
- EU FP7 BiodiversityKnowledge /KNEU project (2011 - 2015): Project manager
- DG ENV service contract EUBES: Towards an EU mechanism interfacing science and policy on biodiversity and ecosystems services (2012 - 2015): Core team
Karla Locher-Krause (Dr. Ing.)