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Projects Trade-offs between climate, biodiversity and ecosystem services

Land use is not only a cause of climate change, but also holds major opportunities for mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Our group investigates the trade-offs between demands for climate change mitigation, biodiversity protection and ecosystem services.

Below an overview


  • Climate Change impacts on Fairtrade producers (2019-present)

    IVM, together with the Bern University of Applied Sciences, is analysing potential climate change impacts on Fairtrade producers. Specifically, we try to understand predicted climate change impacts on specific regions and commodities and map the ‘climate change hotspots’ within the Fairtrade producers’ network. 

    Combining a set of different climate change projections we analyse potential effects of climate change on main Fairtrade commodities: banana, cocoa, coffee, cotton, sugarcane and tea. We first performed a literature review to identify the main observed and expected climate change impacts, We then use global projections to identify areas, where Fairtrade crops are currently sourced, that will experience considerable changes to temperature and rainfall extremes. This way, we identify the extent to which over 1.5 million farmers all around the world might be impacted by future climate change. Finally, we identify priority areas for future adaptation to climate change, such as improving drainage, equipping fields with irrigation, or establishing shaded production areas.

    Contact information: Dr Žiga Malek and Prof. Peter Verburg

  • CONSOLE (2019-2022)

    Provision of public goods by Europe’s rural landscapes is challenged by trade-offs between environmental performance and farm profitability, the time lag between action and impact, and the potential mismatch between the scales of actions and effects. As a result, several public goods, such as water and air quality, control of soil erosion, carbon sequestration, animal and plant biodiversity and recreation are characterised by under-provision. CONSOLE aims to boost delivery of public goods by EU agriculture and forestry. To do so, CONSOLE aims at designing and testing effective and efficient contracts for the provision of public goods.

    Contact information: Dr Nynke Schulp and Kina Harmanny.

    More information:

  • SDG food (2018-2022)

    Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a comprehensive set of targets for humanity, and progress towards each of the SDG is considered a positive development. Some SDG can be considered synergetic when progress towards one SDG yields additional benefits towards another SDG. However, in other cases progress towards one SDG might cause trade-offs by limiting the progress towards another SDG, which is not unlikely in a world of limited resources. In this project we will assess how and to what extent improvements towards food and nutrition security (SDG2) is associated with  synergies and trade-offs with poverty reduction (SDG1), health (SDG3), climate change (SDG13), and biodiversity (SDG15). The main aim of this project is to analyse how and to what extent developments towards SDG2 (End hunger) in South-East Asia yields synergies and trade-offs with other SDGs, and how policy measures can improve the outcomes of such interaction. The geographical focus of this project is on Lao PDR and Myanmar, two developing countries in Southeast Asia where hunger is still prevalent in many locations. 

    Project website:

  • TALE – Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe (2014-present)

    The project addresses the challenge of securing food production while still supporting ecosystem services provision and biodiversity conservation by agricultural land. A key aim of the TALE project was the assessment of relevance of existing measures and payments (and conditions for receiving these payments) for biodiversity, targeted land use and selected Ecosystem Services. To do so, research was oriented to the disentanglement and quantification of the multifaceted links between agricultural production, biodiversity and ecosystem services in different European landscapes. Results must be used to support the design and evaluation of policy options particularly regarding the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that can help to reconcile conflicting demands, namely the production of agricultural commodities while at the same time ensuring the provision of ESS and conservation of biodiversity. The project is innovative in the sense that it provides conclusions on how to bring optimization into practice.

    Contact information: Prof. Peter Verburg

    More information: