Biodiversity Carbon Climate Change Conservation Ecology Environment Nature News Round-up Press releases Research Sustainability

Cutting-edge social science research explores biodiversityprioritisation

First Outcomes from the PLANET4B Project Shed Lights on Theories and Methods Explaining Biodiversity Decision-Making 

Biodiversity loss, alongside climate change, stands as one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. Despite its significance, biodiversity is often sidelined in policy decision-making. Addressing this gap, PLANET4B, an innovative research project, delves into understanding how human decision-making processes influence biodiversity. Today, PLANET4B announces the release of its initial findings. The project continues its exploration into the reasons behind this oversight and seeks ways to better integrate biodiversity considerations at various decision-making levels. 

These early results provide a solid foundation for the project’s upcoming work, ultimately contributing to the knowledge base for sustainable future decision-making. The project’s  focus on human factors, such as how people experience and perceive biodiversity differently due to variation in local context, norms and beliefs, as well as intersectionality backgrounds, uncovers a fresh perspective on biodiversity-related decision-making. By mapping existing knowledge, the team seeks to understand why we make certain decisions and how biodiversity can be prioritised in those decisions. 

One of the released reports, the ‘Directory of Intervention Methods’, presents a unique collection of 100 different creative tools that can potentially influence attitudes and decision-making on biodiversity. The potential impact of both mainstream and more alternative intervention methods, like mindfulness meditation and role-playing, on biodiversity prioritisation is examined, showcasing the project’s novel and innovative approach. 

Another key outcome of the project is a comprehensive analysis of biodiversity discourse, focusing on how different social groups perceive and communicate about biodiversity. This discourse analysis is expected to significantly enhance understanding of how values, communication, and worldviews intersect in biodiversity conservation discussions. 

Further pioneering analyses investigate the role of intersectionality and social and behavioural science theories for mapping out potential factors of individual, community, and institutional decision-making. “These initial results will guide our further work with actors on the ground, testing different theories and methods for improving biodiversity decision-making” says PLANET4B project coordinator, Ilkhom Soliev, professor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg . “Unfortunately,  our outcomes may not be typical headlines in newspapers, but their implications are far-reaching, and we are confident they will contribute significantly to our understanding of how we can prioritise biodiversity better in decision-making.” 

PLANET4B is also committed to sharing its findings, encouraging other researchers, policymakers, businesses and educators to utilise these insights, to inform their decision-making processes and policies. 

“We would be pleased to see our findings being applied in various fields – policymaking, business decisions, and even education. Our work is meant to benefit not only the scientific community but society at large” adds PLANET4B co-coordinator, Alex Franklin, professor at Coventry University  . 

Moreover, the PLANET4B team is eager to collaborate with similar projects and initiatives, seeking synergies that can lead to greater impact on decision-making related to biodiversity. 

For more information about the project or to explore opportunities for collaboration, visit the PLANET4B website or email  

About PLANET4B Project 

Horizon Europe research project PLANET4B aims to understand and influence decision making affecting biodiversity and to map existing knowledge that explains why certain decisions are made, to understand better how biodiversity can be prioritised in our decision-making.