Project title: Biodiversity and Infrastructure Synergies and Opportunities for European Transport Networks
Duration: 30 months (01/01/2021 – 30/06/2023)
In Europe, the need to make infrastructure more sustainable for biodiversity while ensuring their reliability and efficiency is urgent.
Indeed, Europe needs to adapt its existing infrastructure to new climatic conditions (floods, droughts ...), as well as find innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce the impact of invasive species and address the decline of native species and ecosystem fragmentation. Simultaneously, the sharp rise in the development of new transport infrastructure, especially in Eastern Europe, must support economic development while paying particular attention to the local biodiversity, which is often endemic.
Faced with these needs, for the first time the European Union funds a 3 million euros Coordination and Support Action project on the topic of transport and biodiversity issues. As part of the last calls under H2020, the BISON project is timely to set the ground and upscale research on these topics in the next European research framework programme 2021-2027 (HORIZON EUROPE).
This project, coordinated by CERTH/HIT and consisted of a consortium of 39 European members and associated countries, aims to tackle the integration of biodiversity with the development of infrastructure, including roads, railways, waterways, airports, ports, or energy transport networks.
The BISON project will meet the above aim through the specific objectives below:
- To identify future research and innovation needs for a better integration of biodiversity with infrastructure planning, construction, operation and decommissioning. The project will develop a Strategic Research and Deployment Agenda (SRDA) which can be deployed at multiple scales, within the EU research framework programme, or by other regional, national or local programmes, in order to improve the knowledge-base on infrastructure and biodiversity.
- To make linear infrastructure more high performing and reliable while taking into account the specific needs of Western and Eastern Europe. In Western Europe, there is an increasing need to adapt existing long-lived infrastructure to new climate conditions, as well as finding innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce the impact of invasive species and support declining native species, while in Eastern Europe, there is significant land-use change and habitat fragmentation due to the surge in infrastructure developments to provide economic opportunities that are threatening the local, and very often endemic biodiversity. The project will identify the construction, maintenance and inspection methods and materials which are long-lasting and resilient and can be used by different transport modes to mitigate pressure on biodiversity.
- Το support European Member States to fulfil their international commitments by engaging all stakeholders into biodiversity mainstreaming for infrastructure planning and development. It will do so by providing recommendations to minimise the impacts of infrastructure on biodiversity through supporting existing and developing projects.
- To support European Member States to become political leaders through collaboration and support of European research institutions and infrastructure operators, and providing more sustainability at the international level through jointly addressing biodiversity and infrastructure challenges
CERTH/HIT is the Coordinator of BISON project, as well as the leader of WP5 that aims to produce the deployment side of the Strategic Research and Deployment Agenda (SRDA), setting the ground for the necessary actions and innovative solutions to take place, for mainstreaming Green & Grey infrastructure across the EU Member States and across the different transport modes. It will identify the topics for potential cooperation of European stakeholders in transferring good practices at policy, legislative and implementation levels.
Research Associate, BISON Coordinator