The growing international interest in mainstreaming biodiversity into infrastructure offers new opportunities to develop innovative solutions. Whether technological, organisational, managerial or methodological, these solutions can simultaneously benefit mobility, trade, energy policy and biodiversity objectives.
At the European level, the need to make infrastructures more sustainable for biodiversity while guaranteeing their reliability and efficiency is urgent. Indeed, Europe must be able to adapt its existing infrastructure to cope with climate change and mitigate the decline of species caused by habitat fragmentation, while responding to the need to develop new transport infrastructure, particularly in Eastern Europe.
In response to these needs, the European Union has funded, for the first time, a €3 million coordination and support action (CSA) project on transport and biodiversity. As part of the latest H2020 calls, the BISON project is timely in laying the groundwork and ramping up research on these topics in the next European Research Framework Programme 2021-2027 (HORIZON EUROPE).
The BISON project, led by a consortium of 39 European members from 16 countries, aims to address the integration of biodiversity in infrastructure development, including roads, railways, waterways, airports, ports and energy transport networks. The BISON project therefore aims to:
- Identify future research and innovation needs for better integration of biodiversity in infrastructure.
- Identify sustainable and resilient construction, maintenance and inspection methods and materials that can be used by different transport modes to mitigate pressure on biodiversity.
- Help the European Union member states meet their international commitments by involving all stakeholders in the integration of biodiversity into infrastructure planning and development.
- Help the European Union member states become policy leaders through collaboration and support for European research.