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BISON (H2020)


The BISON project focuses on infrastructure development and preservation of biodiversity, respectively, in order to achieve social and economic well-being. Resulting from this, two issues should be considered:

  • Spatial relationships between infrastructure location and protected areas. The majority of the infrastructure development will likely occur within or around preserved areas and ecosystems with a high level of biodiversity. This may undermine past, current and future conservation investments if spatial planning is not carefully applied. Negative consequences could include the shift of species range due to climate change and the movement of key biodiversity areas (under legal protection or not), towards areas that are also considered to meet current infrastructure demands. Predicting these shifts and (re)designing infrastructure to enhance ecosystems’ resilience, in the context of climate change, can be enhanced by applied research to address these key challenges.
  • Innovations in project design can provide a safer and more efficient infrastructure network and reduce the negative impacts on biodiversity, particularly away from protected areas. In addition, upgrading or enhancing the efficiency of existing infrastructure (rather than developing new infrastructure) should be explored as a critical solution to mitigate further land-use change and ecosystem fragmentation16. The innovation potential in this sector is aligned with the European ambition of being a leader in creating green jobs.


The BISON project will meet the above aim through the specific objectives below:

  • Identify research and innovation needs for biodiversity mainstreaming in transport infrastructure.
  • Detect the methods and materials that can be used by different transport modes to mitigate pressure on biodiversity.
  • Make infrastructure more performant and reliable.
  • Support European Member States to fulfil their regional and international commitments for sustainable development.
  • Develop collaboration among European Member States to become political leaders on jointly addressing biodiversity and infrastructure challenges.

Project partners

List of BISON project participants includes 43 organization from 16 countries

BISON Policy Briefs

As part of the BISON project, four policy briefs have been drawn up with the aim of proposing actions at European, national and local levels. You will find a summary of the policy briefs below

- Integrating Biodiversity into European Transport infrastructures now and tomorrow: A Strategic Research Agenda for Biodiversity-Friendly Infrastructure

To effectively integrate biodiversity considerations into transport infrastructure, the BISON project has developed a Strategic Research Agenda that promotes multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral research approaches. Currently, research efforts in this area are often fragmented, hindering a comprehensive understanding of the interactions between transport infrastructure and biodiversity.

The Strategic Research Agenda proposes various measures to enhance European research on this issue. By implementing these measures, the European Union will be better positioned to align with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which strives to restore or maintain the integrity of all ecosystems.

- "BIODIVERSITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE”: an online handbook for promoting cooperation and transformative change

Sustainable transport infrastructure is fundamental for economic and social progress. To achieve this, we must embrace new innovative solutions while replicating best practices that benefit nature. Alongside increasing infrastructure resilience and safety, we need transformative changes in transport infrastructure development that go beyond prioritising decarbonisation and digitalisation and seek to restore nature, safeguard biodiversity and produce positive outcomes for human societies. “Biodiversity and Infrastructure: A Handbook for Action”, developed in cooperation with Infrastructure & Ecology Network Europe (IENE) and based on the “Wildlife and Traffic Handbook”, is a key tool for achieving such goals. It is designed to enhance knowledge transfer and capacity building, empowering the transport and ecology sectors to work together to achieve sustainable infrastructure development. It provides access to concise, up-to-date and essential information, presenting clear technical instructions for the planning, design and maintenance of effective measures to protect biodiversity in infrastructure development aligned with global and European biodiversity policies.

- Developing sustainable, climate-friendly European transport infrastructure for biodiversity using scenarios

By exploring plausible futures between biodiversity and transport infrastructure, the BISON scenarios make it possible to anticipate future relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services, on the one hand, and transport infrastructure, on the other.

The BISON scenarios provide information on development trajectories that follow different possible sustainability paths. All the trajectories involve trade-offs. The scenarios presented here help explain why some trajectories are not sustainable and highlight the way forward to make transport infrastructure sustainable for biodiversity.

- Enhancing Ecological Connectivity in Transport Infrastructure: Aligning National Policies, Strategies, and Implementation with EU’s Green Infrastructure Strategy

To achieve sustainable development, regulating the relationship between transport (grey) infrastructure and ecological (green and blue) infrastructure is crucial. The BISON project thoroughly analysed the alignment of policies and strategies and the level of implementation maturity in accordance with the European Union Strategy for Green Infrastructure (EU SGI).

Its aim is to ensure ecological connectivity in infrastructure development and provide recommendations to address different maturity levels. BISON findings indicate that while there has been some integration of biodiversity and green infrastructure in national legislation and policies, further advances are necessary, especially in terms of incorporating biodiversity and Ecological connectivity in the development and maintenance of transport-related projects at national and regional levels.