Irstea is prioritizing issues linked to biodiversity in its research agenda. As a recognized participant in the French National Biodiversity Strategy that has led many research projects in partnership with the French Biodiversity Agency (AFB), Irstea is bringing its expertise to several regional and national field projects (river basin committees, park scientific boards, National Committee on Biodiversity, etc.). Irstea’s expertise is also recognized internationally, particularly through its involvement in several international networks and projects.
- The IPBES is a key international stakeholder for biodiversity. This scientific and political intergovernmental platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services, sometimes known as the IPCC for Biodiversity, aims to assess biodiversity, identify and develop tools and methods to support the decision-making process, improve the relationship between the scientific and political sectors, and facilitate a coordinated approach to the production of new knowledge. At the end of April 2019, the organization published its global evaluation on biodiversity and ecosystem services. This publication provides an overview of the decline in biodiversity across the world and was widely distributed through the press. Several Irstea researchers are working with IPBES groups.
- Irstea is a member of the ALTER-Net network. The ALTER-Net network brings together over twenty organizations from across Europe. It is focused on biodiversity and ecosystem services. It provides support for public policy through its scientific contributions and support for European research projects. By encouraging dialogue between its members, this network is fostering the close partnerships needed to set up projects. In 2019, the network is preparing to support European public policies and participating in the creation of the European Union’s new strategy on biodiversity.
- The European Union provides funding for numerous programs, tools and initiatives, several of which pertain to biodiversity. The most representative is the French-led BiodivERsA network. As part of this network, EU member states came together to work on publishing a strategic agenda for research and innovation that combines European biodiversity priorities. Irstea is involved in several projects within the BiodivERsA network: the institute is leading the IMAGINE project and participating in the BONDS and OSCAR projects.
- Irstea is also involved in the Aquatic Biodiversity and Nature-Based Solutions task force run by the French Water Partnership (PFE), the leading French organization for water stakeholders with an international outlook. This task force includes various stakeholders (government, companies, NGOs, etc.) and prepares collective messages for international distribution, ensures information exchange and organizes events.