Transport infrastructure and Biodiversity at a nexus of challenges

Posted on 15 May 2023
International Seminar - Transport infrastructure and Biodiversity at a nexus of challenges. The Final Seminar of the BISON project  (Joint seminar BISON – UNEP Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership) is taking place at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France 6-7 June 2023 

Transport infrastructure is one of the drivers of global economic development and is mobilising major and growing investments. However, through their impact on land-use change and ecosystem fragmentation, they are also one of the main causes of climate change and biodiversity decline.   

In view of these highly complex challenges, many initiatives are emerging simultaneously in Europe and beyond. In this rapidly changing context:  

 What are the possible future interlinkages between infrastructures and biodiversity?  

  • What role can research and innovation play to support real transformative changes?  
  • How can operational stakeholders be better supported in integrating potentially contradictory recommendations?  
  • What tools should be developed to ensure sustainable investments on the scale of the colossal transport projects already underway?   

Faced with these multiple challenges, the European Union has supported a strategic project to directly improve the integration of biodiversity in the infrastructure sector: the BISON project - Biodiversity and Infrastructure Synergies and Opportunities for European Transport Networks.  
After two and a half years of work involving WWF and more than 45 partners from 16 countries, as well as a large number of international stakeholders from both the transport and environmental worlds, the seminar will bring together many high-level European and international speakers.  Its objective will be to fuel and objectify the dialogue between infrastructure and biodiversity in order to discuss possible solutions to face a global challenge. 

  • June 6 – BISON Project final results 
  • June 7 – Joint seminar BISON – UNEP Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership 

Click here to see the programme 

Click here to register 

Click here to read BISON deliverables 


WWF Involvement

As part of its involvement WWF Romania will present work under WP 5 at a 1,5 h session  led by CERTH. WWF Romania is responsible for the development of a preliminary tool for each Infrastructure life-cycle phase. 

WP 5,  subtask 5.2.2 : Deploy existing recommended practices in the infrastructure life - cycle and across modes started with the elaboration of a preliminary tool for each Infrastructure life-cycle phase or identify impacts, mitigation measures, processes and barriers for all transport modes.

This tool consists of 3 sections: 

  • Section 1: Impacts on biodiversity caused by terrestrial transport and transferability to other transport modes. 
  • Section 2: Mitigation measures designed to reduce the impacts on biodiversity specific to terrestrial transport and transferability to other transport modes.
  • Section 3: Processes, tools and barriers through all life cycles of terrestrial transport and transferability to other transport modes.  


Biodiversity and Infrastructure Synergies and Opportunities for European Transport Networks (BISON)

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 EUR 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).


  • 3000 BUDGET (K€)    
  • 44  PARTNERS 
  • START 1 JANUARY 2021 
  • END 30 JUNE 2023

Specific objectives of the project:

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

Multiple Outcomes:

  • State-of-the-art on mitigating infrastructure impacts on biodiversity, from collisions to ecosystem fragmentation to pollution.
  • Strategic Research and Deployment Agenda (SRDA):
    • Identify research needs and opportunities for synergy in future R&I.
    • Identify opportunities to deploy acquired knowledge on the ground.
  • Funding optimization for infrastructure R&I.
  • Public policy coordination and cross-sectoral improvements.
  • Engagement with key stakeholders and creation of a transnational community of experts.


© Bison project

© Bison project