Living labs for the restoration of rural biodiversity (NWA)

The Dutch Research Agenda programme “Living labs for the restoration of rural biodiversity” aims to acquire insights into the practical possibilities for biodiversity restoration. These range from measures to facilitate biodiversity, via performances and indicators that measure success, to an integral approach and insight into how that can be translated into ecological gain. This concerns social, economic and ecological aspects.

  • Aim and objectives

    This research programme supports the Delta Plan for Biodiversity Recovery [Dutch only]. It advocates an integral approach with the clear involvement of societal stakeholders, which should also be visible in the composition of the consortium and how the collaboration is realised. The programme is emphatically aimed at connecting research with the valorisation of knowledge from everyday practice. That is why the focus on living labs was chosen in this programme.

  • Budget and duration


    A total budget of € 4,365 million is available for this call for proposals. This research will run for 5 years (2021-2026)

  • Three Living Labs

    On 15 July 2020, the NWO Executive Board awarded funding to three interdisciplinary consortia that span the entire knowledge chain.

    Living Lab Ooijpolder: Upscaling a successful socio-ecological experiment for biodiversity restoration

    Prof. J.C.J.M. (Hans) de Kroon (main applicant) – Radboud University

    Consortium partners: NIOO-KNAW, EIS Kenniscentrum, Hogeschool van Hall Larenstein, Via Natura, Vereniging Nederlands Natuurlandschap, Stichting Ark, Landschapsbeheer Gelderland, Soorten NL, Stichting Bargerveen, ZLTO/Rijk van Nijmegen, De Ploegdriever, Collectief Rivierenland, burgerinitiatief ‘Naar een duurzame Ooijpolder’, gemeentes Nijmegen en Berg en Dal, Waterschap Rivierenland, Provincie Gelderland, Louis Bolk Instituut, Natuurkinderdagverblijf Struin, IVN Rijk van Nijmegen, de Bastei

    The Ooijpolder riverine region is an example of a landscape where restoration of natural elements has partly been realized. This Living Lab project investigates the underlying processes responsible for the results obtained so far, as well as new initiatives towards consolidation and upscaling of regional successes.

    Living Lab Alblasserwaard: Towards a biodiverse, productive, livable polder

    Prof. J.C. (Koos) Biesmeijer (main applicant) – Naturalis, Leiden University

    Consortium partners: Erasmus Universiteit, Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR), Aeres Hogeschool, Provincie Zuid-Holland, Kaasfabriek de Graafstroom, Zuivelcoöperatie Deltamilk, Agrarisch natuur- en landschapsbeheer Den Hâneker, Staatsbosbeheer, Collectief Alblasserwaard-Vijfheerenland, Zuid-Hollands Landschap, Waterschap Rivierenland, Natuur- en Vogelwacht Alblasserwaard, Rabobank, EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten, Landschappen.NL, LTO Nederland, gemeente Molenlanden, BoerenNatuur

    The iconic Dutch peat meadow landscapes have lost most of their biodiversity. This project will reverse that trend by identifying land use measures that increase biodiversity, finding how such measures can become part of business models and how farmers and other stakeholders are stimulated to act to improve biodiversity.

    Video 'Groene Cirkel Kaas en Bodemdaling volop in actie' [only in Dutch]

    Living Lab B7: Working with Farmers, Residents, Visitors and Policymakers on Better Biodiversity in the Bulb Region

    Prof. W.M. (Wolf) Mooij (main applicant) – NIOO-KNAW

    Consortium partners: Radboud Universiteit, Utrecht Universiteit, University of Victoria, HAS Hogeschool, AERES Hogeschool, Agrarisch Collectief De Groene Klaver, Agrarische Natuur- en Landschapsvereniging de Geestgrond, Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS), de Natuurverdubbelaars, Dunea Duin en Water, Economic Board Duin- en Bollenstreek, Gebiedsprogramma Duin- en Bollenstreek, Greenport Duin- en Bollenstreek, Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland, Huiberts Biologische Bloembollen, Keukenhof, KAVB Kring Duin- en Bollenstreek, Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen, NMF Zuid-Holland, Natuurmonumenten, Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, Provincie Zuid-Holland, Staatsbosbeheer, Vereniging voor Natuur- en Vogelbescherming Noordwijk, Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR), Waternet, Witteveen+Bos, Zuid-Hollands Landschap, Stockholm Resilience Center

    The aim of Living Lab B7 is best summarised as providing insights and KPI’s to Greenport Duin- and Bollenstreek, Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen and the Deltaplan Biodiversiteitsherstel to contribute to the practice of biodiversity recovery in rural areas on local, regional and national scales.

  • Overarching project

    Delta plan living labs for biodiversity restoration: from landscape to rural

    The research programme aims to provide a representative picture of all landscapes in the Netherlands through research in three different living labs. This insight can help with maintaining biodiversity in other areas and contribute to the realisation of circular agriculture at a national level. Examples are measures to facilitate biodiversity and how these successes can be measured. This concerns social, economic and ecological aspects.

    To make this possible, the three living labs need to share information with each other and jointly work on an ecological, economic and social basis for the restoration of biodiversity at the landscape level. They are working on this with regional partners within the overarching project “Delta plan living labs for biodiversity restoration: from landscape to rural” by translating the results from the living labs to tools for action that can also be used in other areas. This can therefore form the basis for building biodiverse and healthy landscapes in line with the Delta Plan for Biodiversity Recovery. Hans de Kroon from Radboud University is one of the project leaders from the living labs and is coordinating this broad consortium. The NWA is making 1,050,000 euros available for this.

  • Partners

    The initiator of this programme is the Dutch Ministry of  Nature and Food Quality (LNV) .