Trees in a wooded surrounding with light breaking through the trunks



‘Renewing biodiversity through a people-in-nature approach’ (RENEW) is a five-year partnership programme to develop solutions to one of the major environmental challenges for humankind: the renewal of biodiversity.

RENEW is working with a sense of urgency, to reshape understanding and action on biodiversity renewal across scales, creating knowledge, and influencing national institutions, communities and individuals. The project puts people at the centre of action on biodiversity renewal and will build expertise across different sectors and communities to develop a relational approach to renew our life-support systems. We will trial solutions to renew biodiversity at a landscape scale by co-designing approaches with communities and land managers.

We are focussed on a set of key challenges: how popular support for biodiversity renewal can be harnessed; how populations that are disengaged, disadvantaged, or disconnected from nature can benefit from inclusion in solutions development; how renewal activities can be designed and delivered by diverse sets of land-managers and interest groups; and how biodiversity renewal can most effectively be embedded in finance and business activities.


RENEW consists of four core themes, underpinned by three cross-cutting themes:

Theme 1: Individual Actors – Generating better understanding of individuals’ engagement with nature (‘personalised ecologies’) to improve the effectiveness of methods used to develop public support for large-scale biodiversity renewal. Read more

Theme 2: Community Action – Co-designing fair and inclusive programmes to increase connection between diverse communities and biodiversity renewal activities and their benefits. Read more

Theme 3: Land Managers – Developing a strategic approach to integrated landscape-scale renewal based on real-world opportunities and constraints that are co-designed and delivered with diverse land-managers. Read more

Theme 4: Business & Finance Decision-makers – Developing new tools and standards for embedding biodiversity renewal in finance and business activities. Read more

A graphic showcasing our four core themes, underpinned by three cross-cutting themes - please see below for the text the graphic shows

Biodiversity renewal is a complex and whole system problem.

To address the critical decline in biodiversity, RENEW’s themes are working to create research outputs that will lead to action on the ground. We recognise that solutions require the creation of a new kind of inclusive and diverse research community, that transcends traditional boundaries between the disciplines. Solutions also need to address the inequalities and lack of diversity found in current renewal practices. Our approach therefore prioritises partnership building, to allow us to combine research with experiment, learning, sharing, outreach and impact, across relevant organisations and wider communities.

This approach will lead to long term outcomes, including:

  • Renewed biodiversity
  • More effective engagement with partners and communities
  • Better biodiversity decision-making
  • More equitable and inclusive distribution of renewal benefits
  • Better investment decisions and economic prosperity
  • The next generation of interdisciplinary research leaders
  • The UK is positioned as an international leader in biodiversity decision-making.


6 levels showcasing from our situation to our longer term outcomes - full text below


The RENEW community includes academics, support staff, and partners from across the environmental sciences, data science, environmental intelligence, social sciences, politics, humanities, business and economics.

RENEW is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Changing the Environment Programme. This programme aims to stimulate new collaborations across disciplines to help realise the full potential of the UK’s contribution to environmental challenges as it adapts to climate change, transitions towards net zero emissions and develops a nature-positive future.


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