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Biodiversity and Conservation (seminar)


Admission requirements



A broad spectrum of aspects of biodiversity is discussed. The biodiversity of the world is believed to decrease at such a speed that one speaks of a “biodiversity crisis”. By ratifying the Convention of Biological Diversity (UNEP, 1992), many governments have agreed to “develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity”. But what exactly is ‘biodiversity’? And what do we know about it? How important is it and for whom? Is it possible to set attainable goals for biodiversity? When should these goals be reached? How should priorities be set? Can existing policy, of the Netherlands as well as of international institutions, be considered as ‘biodiversity friendly’? What is sustainable use of biodiversity? How can it be reached? These and related questions will be discussed based on both scientific papers and policy documents.

Course objectives

The seminar provides insight in the scientific debate about the definition and interpretation of the concept of biodiversity, in the state of the art in biodiversity research and in the application of the concept in actual policy making, management and sustainable use.


Sessions are once a week from 04-04-2012 to 20-06-2012, in principle on Wednesdays from 14.00 to 16.00.

Mode of instruction

There will be 12 meetings of two hours, one meeting per week, every Wednesday 14.00-16.00 hrs. Students will present a book chapter or article(s) on a given subject. All other students are supposed to have studied the text(s) as well and formulate statements on the subject. The subsequent discussion will take these statements as point of departure. Each meeting will end by drafting some synthetic conclusions.

Assessment method

Oral presentation and participation.


Blackboard will be used

Reading list



Registration via USIS and enroll using Blackboard.

Contact information

Dr.C.J.M. Musters,

Dr. H.H. de Iongh


Open to graduates with a BSc in Biology. Because of limited capacity students of the track ‘Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation’ have precedence.

Costs: ca EUR 60.

Max. number of students: 20.