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ALTER-Net: A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network

Europe’s ecosystem research network


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What we do

About ALTER-Net's main activities

Activity areas

The following activity areas were agreed in January 2014. They are being coordinated by ALTER-Net Management Board members:

Events and Communication

ALTER-Net Summer School

Research Collaboration

High Impact Actions

Multi-Site Research

Science-Policy Interface


Hosting events (including bi-annual ALTER-Net Conferences) and communicating with partners and the wider community.

Equipping the next generation of ecosystem researchers with expert knowledge and skills at the ALTER-Net Summer School in Peyresq.

Supporting joint proposals, expertise sharing and international collaboration with the Mobility Fund and Call Exchange platform.

Supporting research on hot topics with high impact outputs.


Enabling partners to engage in multi-site and collaborative research activities.

Supporting the development of better engagement between researchers and policymakers, including through the upcoming management of the EKLIPSE mechanism.

Supporting the development of Europe's long-term ecosystem research infrastructure, especially LTER-Europe



Recent ALTER-Net activities...

ALTER-Net conferences

Active in IPBES-3

Summer School

EU research projects

Strategic alliances


Yard monastery

Our most recent conference, entitled "The EU Biodiversity Strategy Beyond 2020" took place from 18-20 May 2015 in Ghent.

Prior to that, ALTER-Net held engaging and innovative conferences on the following topics:

Nature and Society: Synergies, conflicts, tradeoffs (2017)

Nature & Urban Wellbeing: Nature-based solutions (2015)

Science underpinning the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy (2013)

Each of these conferences was held at the Augustinian Monastery of Ghent, Belgium.

IPBES-3, Bonn, Germany, January 2015

In January 2015, many ALTER-Net members took part in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services 3rd Plenary meeting in Bonn, Germany. They were heavily involved in negotiations concerning the IPBES Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. ALTER-Net partner UFZ also helped organise the pre-conference stakeholder days.

Summer school - poster session

ALTER-Net's flagship initiative attracts around 30 students each year to Peyresq, France, to learn about key aspects of biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services research from leading experts in the field. The Summer School takes an interdisciplinary perspective, and is a unique learning opportunity.

Jiska at BiodivKnowledge meeting

Recent and ongoing projects such as EKLIPSE, KNEU, BESAFE, ROBIN, OPERAS and OPENNESS originated from ALTER-Net partnerships. The large-scale FP7-funded project OpenNESS on operationalizing ecosystem services and natural capital, was a joint ALTER-Net response.

All of these projects are led by an ALTER-Net member. Meanwhile, ALTER-Net is facilitating the establishment of new consortia for members to take part in multi-million Euro research projects funded via the EU's Horizon 2020 programme.

Eeva & Jurgen, EPBRS, Dublin, May 2013

ALTER-Net has built strategic alliances with other networks in order to increase joint impact. We strengthened our links, through presentations or joint action, with networks such as IPBES (providing a European input into this global process), LTER, IALE, EPBRS, PEER, the BiodiversityKnowledge network, and MarBEF.

Group at the conference 2 (Alumni). Photo: Allan Watt

We have developed our communication activities, growing our presence on social media, creating a summary brochure, videos and a range of promotional material.

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Other ALTER-Net meetings:


ALTER-Net projects:

Our journey...