ALTER-Net is a network of partner institutes from 18 European countries. ALTER-Net integrates research capacities across Europe: assessing changes in biodiversity, analysing the effect of those changes on ecosystem services and informing policymakers and the public about this at a European scale. Originally funded by the European Union’s Framework VI program to stimulate a collaborative approach, ALTER-Net is now operating independently, contributing to the lasting integration of Europe’s research capacity on biodiversity.
ALTER-Net's main objective is to develop lasting integration amongst its partner institutes, and others, all of whom are involved in biodiversity research, monitoring and/or communication. ALTER-Net is building upon a number of activities developed during the first (EU-funded phase), including:
- Identification of common research priorities and development of a common research programme
- Further development of the LTER-Europe network of Long-Term Ecosystem Research sites (LTER) and Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research platforms (LTSER); ALTER-Net was instrumental in developing this major European research infrastructure
- The ALTER-Net Summer School, which has been providing training for young researchers in inter-disciplinary approaches to biodiversity and ecosystems research since 2006
- Establishment of a vibrant interdiscplinary research community, which ALTER-Net has championed and nurtured, and actively supports through topical workshops
- Communication and knowledge transfer at interfaces such as scientist-to-scientist, scientist-to-policymaker and with the general public
- Supporting the EU LifeWatch project (developing the infrastructure for sharing biodiversity data), of which ALTER-Net is a founder member
- Development of a common data sharing policy.