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

Europe’s ecosystem research network


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Privacy & cookies

Our privacy notice information about how cookies are used on this website


[Last updated: 20 September 2020]


Alternet is the European science policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is an International Non Profit Association (i-NPA) established in accordance with Lawbook 10 of the Companies and Associations Code of 23 March 2019. The seat of the Association is located in the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium. i-NPA Alternet consists of: four Founding Members (Maurice Hoffmann, Jiska van Dijk, Philip Roche and Allan Watt), the Effective Members and the Associate Members. All the Alternet partner institutions are Effective Members. Associate members are those who do not pay a membership fee.

Alternet takes your personal privacy seriously and strives to adhere to the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). This privacy notice explains how we manage any personal data you share with us, along with your rights and how to contact us in the event of a query or complaint.

This privacy notice will be revised as required; you are encouraged to revisit the privacy notice regularly to read the latest version. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will process it. By visiting you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.


Contact details for the Alternet Head Office  

  • Address:
    Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO) - Alternet
    Herman Teirlinckgebouw, Havenlaan 88 bus 73
    1000 Brussel, Belgium

You can contact our Head Office to enquire about data privacy or to exercise your rights with respect to the personal information we hold about you. The person to contact in the first instance is Tyler Kulfan (email: [email protected]; phone: +4917667349617).

The lawful bases by which we may collect and use personal data

We use the following lawful grounds for processing personal information to support our activities:

  • Legitimate interests: the reason for the processing is clearly defined, is necessary, is reasonable and has minimal privacy impact

  • Consent: cases in which you provide us with personal information in order to receive a service such as downloading data or subscribing to our news mailing list.

Alternet or one of its members may also process your personal data if:   

  • It is necessary in order to fulfil our obligations under contracts and agreements  

  • There is a legal obligation to do so

  • It is necessary in order to perform a task in the public interest or to exercise any official authority vested in us. 


Who may handle personal data

Alternet is a network of European organisations. A small number of individuals working for these organisations may, in the course of carrying out Alternet activities, handle personal information. We explain in this privacy notice the nature of these activities, the personal data involved and - as far as it is possible to do so - the personnel involved. The number of individuals involved in handling personal data will at all times be limited to the fewest necessary. All personnel involved in handling data will be subject to this privacy notice and to the GDPR and/or the data protection legislation of their country.


Purposes for which Alternet processes your personal data

1. When you visit our website (

Our website is hosted by Alternet partner CREAF (Spain). Previously it was hosted by UKCEH (UK), and we are still in the process of transferring some activities from UKCEH to CREAF.

When you use our website CREAF, as the website host, may collect the following information about you:

  • The IP address used to connect your computer to the Internet

  • Your time zone setting

  • Your Internet provider

  • The full Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, i.e. web page addresses) of pages you visit

  • Files you download

  • Page response times

  • Length of visits to pages

  • Page interaction information (such as clicks, downloads, web form submissions).

This information is logged by Google Analytics, a service we use solely to help us understand visits made to our website and to help us improve our website. We will use this information to provide the best possible service to our web users. It allows us to administer our site, including our efforts to keep it safe and secure, and to carry out internal operations including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, and statistical research. This means we can improve our website to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you. Further information about Google Analytics is provided below in the ‘Cookies’ section. The lawful basis by which this information is collected and used is legitimate interest.

NOTE: As we are still in the process of transferring some functions from UKCEH to CREAF, currently a member of staff at UKCEH (Andrew Sier) has access to the data collected by Google Analytics. We will update our privacy notice when access is transferred to another person.

Where you are asked to complete a form, either on our website or via a link to another website, in order to obtain a service or product or to create a user account, you may be asked for details including your name, address, email address, telephone number, and organisation. Unless otherwise indicated, the details you provide will be managed by the Alternet Head Office. Your personal data will only be used for the purpose(s) described at the point of collection. The lawful basis by which this information is collected and used is consent.

Cookies: Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them, see the cookies notice below.

Links: Our site contains links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites and any services that may be accessible through them have their own privacy notices and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies or for any personal data that may be collected through these websites or services. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites or use these services.


2. When you subscribe to the Alternet e-news service

Our e-news service is a way to inform people by email about Alternet and related activities. Two people, from UKCEH (UK) and UFZ (Germany), operate the mail service for Alternet and have access to subscribers’ personal data. In order to provide this service to you, the minimum data we collect is your email. Detailed privacy information is provided on the sign-up form. The lawful basis by which this data is collected and used is consent.

You will be advised as to how you can withdraw your consent when subscribing and when you receive a bulk email via the mailing list.

Mailchimp (based in the USA) is currently the data processor for our e-news mailing list. Mailchimp is certified by the EU-US Privacy Shield. You can view Mailchimp’s privacy information at their website.

3. When you contact Alternet

When you get in touch with us by email, phone or in writing, we may need to store the personal information you provide, such as your name, email address, postal address and phone number. This enables us to contact you, for example, to help answer an enquiry. For example, when you send us an email, this will be stored on an email server. Such contact information will only be disclosed to others (e.g. by forwarding your email) where that is necessary to help you with your request. Since Alternet is a network of organisations, the personal information involved may be managed by many different individuals across the network. The lawful basis by which this information is collected and used is consent.

4. When we provide you with a website user account

A limited number of individuals may be given access to the Alternet website in order to add and maintain content. In these circumstances, it will be necessary to store your name and email address in the website's user management database, in order to provide you with a user account. As the website host, CREAF will handle this data. The lawful basis by which this information is collected and used is legitimate interest.

5. Personal data collected for other purposes

When it is necessary to collect and manage personal data for a purpose not listed above, we will either amend this privacy notice to include the purpose, or we will provide the details to you either before or at the time of collection. If you have a query about how we manage personal data that cannot be answered by this privacy notice, please contact us (see contact details above).

The details of transfers of personal data to third parties or organisations outside the EU and EEA

We will inform you of circumstances in which we may need to share your data with third parties, i.e. beyond Alternet or one of its members, and we will ask your permission to do so. Unless otherwise indicated, your information is processed in the EU (currently including the UK) and the European Economic Area (EEA). In those instances where your information is being processed outside of these areas, we work with our partners to do all we can to ensure your personal data is processed in line with the data protection requirements of GDPR.

Mailchimp (based in the USA) is currently the data processor for our e-news mailing list. Mailchimp is certified by the EU-US Privacy Shield. You can view Mailchimp’s privacy information at their website.


Children's data  

People under the age of 16 may only use our portals with the permission of a parent or guardian, who will be deemed responsible for them.  

Your rights and how to exercise them  

You may exercise your rights in relation to your personal data and privacy at any time, without charge, in accordance with the applicable legislation. Such rights include:   

1. Finding out which elements of (your) personal data Alternet is processing, for what purposes it is doing so, and with which third parties it is sharing such information. 

2. Obtaining a copy of the data in question (an administration fee may be payable as of the second copy). 

3. Requesting that inaccurate or incomplete personal data be corrected or completed respectively. 

4. Requesting that your personal data be erased when it is no longer necessary for the purpose(s) for which it was collected. 

5. Requesting that the processing of your personal data be restricted while potential inaccuracies are being verified and in other cases envisaged in the applicable legislation. 

6. Requesting that your personal data be transferred to another organization in a structured, commonly used format (right to data portability). 

7. Objecting to us processing your personal data.  

You can exercise the rights in question by contacting our Head Office (see address above).  


[Last updated: 20 September 2020]


When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example: enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task; recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested; measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast.

You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them through advice on

Our use of cookies

Here we describe – to the best of our knowledge – cookies which may be set on your computer when you visit this site or use some of the third-party plugins. Note that if you click a link or button which takes you to another site, cookies may be set by that website. These cookies are not described here.

1. Cookies for improving service

This site uses the Google Analytics service. Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This allows us to ensure that the service is fast and available when you want it.

Name: _utma
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 2 years

Name: _utmb
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 30 minutes

Name: _utmc
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: _utmz
Typical content: randomly generated number and info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search)
Expires: 6 months

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

2. Third party cookies

When we provide links to third party services we think you will find useful, they may place a cookie on your device to make their service easier to use. The third party services on this website are listed below, with links to their privacy policy where available:

LinkedIn will place cookies on your device if you click through to their website.

Twitter will only place cookies on your device if you click through to their websites.

3. Cookies used when you log in to the website

Some users have accounts and can log in to this website. When a user logs on with a username and password, this site – which uses the Plone Content Management System – uses a cookie so the user does not have to log in each time he or she visits a new page. To our knowledge, the following cookies are related to Plone’s user login function:

Name: _ac
Typical content: random number
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: _ZopeId
Typical content: random number
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: areYourCookiesEnabled
Typical content: a number (e.g. 1) – presumably a status flag signalling whether or not the user’s browser is accepting cookies
Expires: when user exits browser


Summary of terms

You may encounter some of these terms if you read more about cookies.

Browser: Used to locate and display web pages via a software application.

Cookie: Message given to a web browser by a web server. The message is then stored by the browser at a location on the user's hard disc. Each time the browser requests a page from the server, this message is sent back.

Cookies are often used to identify users and personalise their visit by customising web pages for them for example by welcoming them by name next time they visit the same site. A site using cookies will usually invite you to provide personal information such as your name, e-mail address and interests.

IP (Internet Protocol): All networks connected to the internet speak IP, the technical standard which allows data to be transmitted between two devices. TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is responsible for making sure messages get from one host to another and that the messages are understood.

IP address: If you are connected to the Internet you have one, for example it may look something like this:

Web Server: Delivers (serves up) web pages to your computer.

Active Server Pages: Dynamic (interactive) web pages which include web feedback forms, login pages and pages which connect to a database.

Session State: A way of remembering you between active server pages.