NWO funds three NWA living labs for biodiversity restoration in rural areas

15 July 2020

NWO has awarded three living labs funding within the NWA programme that intends to realise biodiversity restoration in rural areas. Transdisciplinary consortia of knowledge institutions and civil society organisations will investigate the possibilities for biodiversity restoration at various locations throughout the country. The projects have received 4.365 million euros in funding, jointly funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV).

The projects concern practical research in the Ooijpolder region in the river area around Berg en Dal, the peatland area in the Alblasserwaard, and the South Holland Dune and Bulb Region. Over the next six months, the three living labs awarded funding will be merged into a single large project under the auspices of the Delta Plan for Biodiversity Restoration, in close consultation with the Ministry of LNV. The research will being at the start of 2021.  

The goal of the Delta Plan Biodiversity Restoration and the Ministry of LNV is that these three living labs will fulfil a pioneering role. They intend to realise a broad set of comparable living labs that is representative of all landscapes in the Netherlands and can be translated accordingly into all possible practice situations for the maintenance of biodiversity in rural areas.

The aim of the NWA programme is to acquire more insight into the possibilities for biodiversity restoration practice. The programme is emphatically aimed at connecting research with the valorisation of practical knowledge. Examples of this are measures to facilitate biodiversity, via performances and indicators that measure success, or an integral approach and insight into translating these into ecological benefit. The research covers social, economic and ecological aspects.

Projects awarded funding

Living Lab Ooijpolder: Scaling up of a successful socio-ecological experiment for biodiversity restoration

The Ooijpolder region in the river area is an example of a landscape where natural elements have already been partially restored. This NWA Living Lab project will investigate the underlying processes that are responsible for the results obtained and will supervise new initiatives aimed at scaling up the regional successes and making these more resilient.

Living Lab Alblasserwaard: towards a biodiverse, productive, habitable polder

The Dutch peatland area has suffered the greatest loss in biodiversity. This project will reverse the negative trend by investigating which management measures strengthen biodiversity, how these can become part of revenue models (farmers, government bodies, NGOs) and how farmers and other parties can take action to strengthen biodiversity.

Living Lab B7: with farmers, residents, visitors and policymakers will work on and improve biodiversity in the Dune and Bulb Region

The aim of Living Lab B7 can best be summarised as providing insights and key performance indicators to Greenport Dune and Bulb Region, National Park Hollandse Duinen and the Delta Plan Biodiversity Restoration so that at a local, regional and national scale it may contribute to the practice of biodiversity restoration in rural areas.

Dutch Research Agenda

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, NWO has funded research in the context of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) since 2018. The aim of NWA research is to make a positive, structural contribution to the knowledge society of tomorrow, by building bridges today and jointly tackling scientific and societal challenges. For example, this is realised via thematic programming in collaboration with government ministries. The aim of the thematic programmes is to find answers to current societal questions.

Source: NWO