Why did we build this tool?



Although the ongoing decline of biodiversity clearly showed that the value of Nature for Nature itself failed to convince society to protect it properly, the recent shift to a dominance of anthropocentric and mainly economic arguments so far has also been unsuccessful and causes concern about its narrow  focus. In 2011, this concern led to the BESAFE and BIOMOT projects, with the mission to deliver An analysis of alternative ways to improve biodiversity policy making and governance at local, national and global scales.

BESAFE took the angle of investigating how the effectiveness of arguments depends on the circumstances in which they are used. Or: what works where and when. As information about that will itself be only effective if it gets used, we made it part of our mission to unlock our results through a web tool, developed in cooperation with stakeholders.  

BESAFE interpreted the meaning of ‘alternative ways’ in its mission as ‘various, different ways’ and not as ‘non-economic ways’. Although there can indeed be grave doubt about the effects of exchanging the protection focus from the narrow Nature Conservation one to another narrow Anthropogenic Benefits of Biodiversity one, there can be no doubt about the added value of making humankind aware of what Nature, Biodiversity, does for it. However, as questionnaires and polls as well as membership of and support for nature conservation organisations invariably show, inherent value is still the main pillar on which both Nature conservation and biodiversity protection in the Western world rest. We make the same observation from our own results. Ignoring this support base or simply taking it for granted could cause it to erode, which would probably put Sustainable Resource Management based protection as much in jeopardy as it would Nature for Nature based protection.  

As our project, the webtool therefore as no focus on a particular kind of focus but unlocks information in a way that hopefully will give users new ideas, widen their view and will help them to base protection argumentation on all the interest people have in Biodiversity and Nature.

Detailed background information on BESAFE, its mission and its results can be found on the website.