for sustainable development


ISOE Policy Brief on biodiversity research available now

The loss of biodiversity continues to decline. The UN-Day for biodiversity on the 22nd of May is also aiming to draw attention to this development. Current research results show the main cause for the ongoing loss of biological diversity: It appears to be uncertain knowledge or a complete lack thereof about the complex links between nature and society. Scientists therefore recommend that a stronger transdisciplinary approach should be applied in biodiversity research. The latest Policy Brief issued by ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research is taking up this topic.


The ISOE Policy Brief “The need for transdisciplinary social-ecological biodiversity research. More a lack of knowledge rather than a lack of action” arises from the fact that biodiversity continues to decline worldwide – despite various policy and management responses. We must redouble our efforts to halt biodiversity loss. The current lack of policy action can be partly linked to an insufficient knowledge base regarding the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Biodiversity research needs to incorporate both social and ecological factors to gain a deeper understanding of the interrelations between society and nature that affect biodiversity. A transdisciplinary research approach is crucial to fulfilling these requirements. It aims to produce new insights by integrating scientific and nonscientific knowledge.

Transdisciplinary biodiversity research: Recommendations for the science community and research policies

As the current Policy Brief shows, several measures need to be taken to strengthen transdisciplinary social-ecological biodiversity research: Within the science community: firstly, scientists themselves must promote transdisciplinarity. Secondly, the reward system for scientists must be brought into line with transdisciplinary research processes. And thirdly, academic training needs to advocate transdisciplinarity. As for research policies, research funding priorities need to be linked to large scale biodiversity policy frameworks, and funding for transdisciplinary social-ecological research on biodiversity must be increased significantly. Find the comprehensive information in the ISOE policy brief no. 5 here.

Mehring, Marion/Diana Hummel (2017): The need for transdisciplinary social-ecological biodiversity research - More a lack of knowledge rather than a lack of action. ISOE Policy Brief, 5. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

ISOE Policy Brief series

Our publication series ‘ISOE Policy Brief’ sums up background information and results from current research projects of the ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research that are dealing with phenomena and problems of global change as for instance climate change, water scarcity or the loss of biodiversity. Based on scientific findings, the short dossiers offer recommendations for action and are aimed at political decision-makers, representatives from science and the media as well as interested members of the public. All publications of this series are available as download (PDF).

ISOE Policy Briefs



Nicola Schuldt-Baumgart

Nicola Schuldt-Baumgart
Head of Knowledge Communication & Public Relations
Tel. +49 69 707 6919-30

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Knowledge Communication Consultant,
Media Contact
Tel. 069 707 6919-51

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