Department of Conservation Biology and Social-Ecological Systems

Working Group BioGov

Governance of biodiversity and nature conservation

Gruppenbild AG BioGov
Photo: Y. Zinngrebe/UFZ

BioGov applies social scientific methods to explore how governance systems can contribute to transformative change towards greater protection of biodiversity and nature. Our research group explores how the causes of biodiversity loss are linked to global market dynamics and complex political interdependencies, taking into account that political and societal responses to these developments are organised across different actor groups, levels and sectors.

Multiple interdisciplinary collaborations allow us to analyse the composition and effects of governance systems. We engage in a variety of science-policy interfaces (SPIs), e.g. in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the development and implementation of national and sub-national biodiversity strategies. These transdisciplinary activities enable BioGov to conduct solution-oriented research with practical relevance.

The research of BioGov focuses on three central themes:

  1. Multi-level governance and coherent implementation. Our group analyses how biodiversity targets in international agreements as well as in national and subnational strategies are developed and implemented across levels and sectors. With analytical approaches such as Biodiversity Policy Integration (BPI) and Transformative Biodiversity Governance (TBG), BioGov assesses the coherence and effectiveness of translating these targets into policies and institutions.
  2. Science as an actor in transdisciplinary biodiversity governance. Through the development of the German Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo) and the direct engagement in IPBES and CBD, BioGov fosters transdisciplinary research with participatory processes including decision makers, representatives of interest groups, practitioners and other stakeholders.
  3. Actor networks and accountability in global biodiversity and land use governance. Biodiversity loss and related social ecological drivers are linked to stakeholder interests and regulatory systems on different levels and scales - sometimes even “telecoupled” to other places (e.g. by trade relations or political cooperation). BioGov traces drivers of biodiversity loss to their governance and actor networks in order to identify levers possible levers for a transformation of non -sustainable trajectories.

Ongoing projects