You're here: Home » About SPIRAL


The overall aim of SPIRAL is to enhance the connectivity between biodiversity research and policy making in order to improve the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

In order to achieve this objective the SPIRAL project comprises the following work packages (WPs) - running in parallel:

  1. Stocktaking and assessment of existing science-policy interfaces for biodiversity governance
  2. Factors constraining and facilitating communication on the role of biodiversity in underpinning livelihoods and ecosystem services
  3. Mechanisms for encouraging behaviour that reduce negative human impacts on biodiversity
  4. Designing and testing science-policy interfaces for biodiversity governance

The project will also formulate and publish a number of recommendations and will be centrally coordinated and integrated.

Together WPs 1 to 3 provide an understanding of why and when more effective science-policy interfaces are needed and allow for identification of some criteria for designing them. They will result in the identification of good practice and additional actions needed to improve the effectiveness of science-policy interfaces for biodiversity. WP 4 will provide a testing ground for innovative design of science-policy interfaces, including the application of the lessons emerging from WPs 1-3. It will also provide feedback in order to provide real time input to some of the questions emerging in them.

 The SPIRAL communication team will also extract recommendations from the work of the other teams, synthesise them, format them for different user groups, review and validate them with different stakeholders, and disseminate them.

The focus and main target groups for this project will be policy actors in the widest sense (that is: policy makers per se and other stakeholders who influence policies). The project will also address their role in shaping social behaviour through policies that intentionally or unintentionally influence the public's and/or stakeholders' behaviour.

Important for SPIRAL is that all work is carried out simultaneously, as feedback will be sought in real time. WP 4 starts its real-life case studies and adjusts them as results emerge from WPs 1 to 3. Meanwhile, it feeds into 1, 2 and 3 with ideas emerging from the real-life cases.

An innovative part of the project will be the involvement of two advisory bodies of the project: the Dynamic Network of Associated Stakeholders (DNA) and the Regular Nucleus of Advisors (RNA), that will test some recommendations and feed in their experiences at all levels of the project.