Basic information
Original title:
MOTivational strength of ecosystem services and alternative ways to express the value of BIOdiversity
Researchers involved:
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1 September 2011–31 August 2015

People in Europe acknowledge that nature is important to them and to society at large. Economists have shown that indeed, biodiversity has total economic values running into the trillions of euros worldwide and hundreds of millions even for minor ecosystem services on local scales. In spite of these immense values, politicians and the general public in Europe do not appear to really act for nature. In the ballot box, people think about their job security, health security or foreign immigrants not about the loss of nature. Politicians feel tempted to focus on these same narrow issues. As a result, European biodiversity continues to decline.

Can economic methods to assess the value of biodiversity be improved such that they reach out to what really motivates action? Can alternative approaches be developed that lie closer to what connects people to nature?

Involving eight research institutes in seven European countries and uniting a group of economists, governance experts, biologists, geographers, psychologists and philosophers, BIOMOT undertake empirical research in the seven European countries, focusing on
(a) the motivational capacity of economic valuation methods,
(b) the types of motivation for nature that underlie successful policy actions for biodiversity at various scales and
(c) the motivations that drive citizens, business and public leaders to take action for nature.

On that basis, BIOMOT will develop a general theory of motivation for biodiversity and think through its implications for biodiversity policies, for business and civil society actors and for public communication.

The tasks are divided among the institutes of ZRC SAZU:
Work pacage 1: Strengthening the valuation of biodiversity and its motivational capacity
Work pacage2: Biodiversity values in successful biodiversity governance
Work pacage 3: Biodiversity value motivating public, business and citizen leaders in action for biodiversity
Work pacage 4: Project integration and theory of motivation to act for biodiversity

Lead partner

Project manager

Project manager at ZRC


The University of Manchester, Manchester, Great Britain • Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium • Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany • Itä Suomen yliopisto, Joensuu, Finland • Universita degli studi di Roma la Sapienza, Rim, Italy • Universiteit Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands

Funded by

the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union


biodiversity • economy • policy • awareness • Slovenia • Europe