Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) (WUR) is a collaboration between Wageningen University and eleven research institutes that are combined under the legal entity DLO Foundation (Stichting DLO). The mission of Wageningen UR is ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. A staff of 6,500 employees and 10,000 students from over 100 countries work in the domain of healthy food and living environment for governments and the business community-at-large. The strength of Wageningen UR lies in its ability to combine efforts of the various fields of natural and social sciences. The union of expertise leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be put into practice and be incorporated into education. This is the Wageningen Approach. The scientific quality of Wageningen UR is affirmed by the prominent position it occupies in international rankings and citation indexes.
The domain of Wageningen UR consists of three related core areas:
• Food and food production
• Living environment
• Health, lifestyle and livelihood
A large number of lecturers, researchers and other employees are based at Wageningen Campus. Wageningen UR also has branches all over The Netherlands and abroad.
Alterra is one of the research institutes of the DLO Foundation. Alterra offers a combination of practical, innovative and interdisciplinary scientific research across many disciplines related to the green world and the sustainable use of the living environment. Aspects of the environment that Alterra focuses on are soil, water, the atmosphere, the landscape and biodiversity ‒ on a global scale as well as regionally, from the Dutch polders to the Himalaya’s and from Amsterdam to the Arctic.
To meet the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow, the focus on science allows Alterra to unite many skills in teams of subject specialists. About 400 staff members are divided over 11 teams, each focused on a particular topic to develop innovative solutions that are practical, efficient and cost-effective. Alterra executes research in the field of flora and fauna, soil, water, climate, vegetation, land cover and land use, the use of geo-information and remote sensing, environmental risk assessment, landscape and spatial planning, forestry, recreation and governance. Furthermore Alterra develops four strategic interdisciplinary themes: Green Economic Growth, Green Cities, Green Climate Solutions and Food Security. These represent our view of the most important problems facing twenty-first century society.
Alterra engages in integrated research to support design processes, policy-making and management at local, national and international levels. It provides consultancy and advisory services, matching environmental expertise to the needs of society, policymakers, academia, industry, government and the research community. Alterra works in close cooperation with Wageningen University and focuses on strategic and applied research, which makes its work both scientifically sound and practically applicable.
Alterra clients and partners are large and small, international and national organisations, governments and companies. The client and partner list includes the European Commission, the Dutch Government and the World Bank, APP, Heineken, WWF, BASF, Arcadis, Rabobank, UNEP and many others. Among Alterra’s national and international partners are the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER), Global Water Partnership (GWP), World Water Council (WWC), Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), Landscape Europe, Climate Change and Biosphere (CCB), the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), the European Forest Institute (EFI).