Biodiversity Revisited

If the decline in biodiversity is a problem, why have efforts to conserve it been ineffective? Is there a more inherent problem in how ‘biodiversity’ is conceptualised and managed that undermines actions? Biodiversity Revisited is the first comprehensive review of the concepts, narratives, governance, science, systems and futures underpinning biodiversity science since the emergence of the term in the 1980s. The initiative aspires to spark, in future generations of researchers – a new and more interdisciplinary set of pathways for research toward regenerating just and diverse life on Earth.

Collaborating institutions

Related SDGs

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“What’s wrong with biodiversity?”

The Biodiversity Revisited idea is born.


Late 2018 – early 2019

The team, governance, themes and approach to Biodiversity Revisited are designed.

February 2019

A robust governance is put in place for oversight and the #BiodiversityRevisited conversation thread is born on social media

March 2019

Cambridge consultation: first response to the Biodiversity Revisited proposition from an international test group of early-career and diverse professionals

May 2019

“Biodiversity Revisited is an exciting project. It offers an urgently needed opportunity to reframe the research agenda and the debate. In a time of growing global commitment to action for nature, it could not be more timely,”
says Jim Leape, William and Eva Price Senior Fellow at Stanford Woods, Institute for the Environment; Co-director, Center for Ocean Solutions.


September 2019

The Biodiversity Revisited Symposium takes place in Vienna, bringing together interdisciplinary thinkers including journalists and scientists from the natural and social sciences. This picture shows the early career essay competition winners who joined the symposium.

June – October 2019

The #BiodiversityRevisited conversation skyrockets on social media. Luc Hoffmann Institute Twitter followers triple from 1000 to almost 3000 followers.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute on Twitter

February 2020

A core group of 18 members of the Biodiversity Revisited initiative meets at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center to begin drafting an innovative, five-year research agenda in an environment that facilitates deep, creative thinking.

23-24 February 2020

At the World Biodiversity Forum, 20 members of the Biodiversity Revisited initiative, including many early career essay contest winners, meet at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center to advance the development of the research agenda.


In 2020 and beyond, fresh ideas, narratives and engaged networks transform into action through research, policy and practice for nature and people. Networks of engaged partners and participants start to embed the Biodiversity Revisited story, ideas and new framings into their activities of teaching, sharing knowledge and designing global networks and projects for research.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Seeds of Change
A February 2020 compilation of provocative essays that formed the basis of the discussions at the Biodiversity Revisited Symposium in September 2019, Seeds of Change explores new concepts, narratives, science, governance and systems for a diverse and just future for life on Earth.

Biodiversity Revisited website 
A bespoke website by and for the initiative.

Biodiversity revisited – Biodiversity accelerated
A March 2019 thought piece by Jon Hutton, Director at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

The power of gathering
A September 2019 thought piece by Melanie Ryan, Head of Programme (ad-interim) at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Snippets from the Biodiversity Revisited Symposium
Short video interviews on the future of biodiversity with a few participants from the 11-13 September 2019 Biodiversity Revised Symposium.

Putting back what we’ve taken from the world’s forests
An independent thought piece brought to you by Colin Chapman (a Professor at George Washington University) and Claire Hemingway (a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation).

Blinded by our heroic fantasies?
An independent thought piece brought to you by Josie Chambers, a postdoc at Cambridge University and the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Is what we’re doing working?
An independent thought piece brought to you by Victoria Pilbeam, a Senior Consultant at Clear Horizon Consulting.

Bridging aspirations and biodiversity conservation
An independent thought piece brought to you by Dr Santiago Izquierdo-Tort, a Consultant at Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos and a Senior Researcher at ITAM Centre for Energy. and Natural Resources.

When is growth good enough?
An independent thought piece brought to you by Natalie Knowles, a PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo.

Does extinction matter?
An independent thought piece by Dr Niki Rust, a StrategicCommunications Adviser at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

The concept of ‘palimpsest’ to reorient biodiversity
An independent thought piece brought to you by Tlacaelel Rivera Núñez.

Perceiving the livingscapes we are within
An independent thought piece brought to you by Madhurya Balan, Collaborator at The Forest Way.

Biotic diversity revisited
An independent thought piece by Daniel P. Faith of the Australian Museum Research Institute in Sydney, Australia.

Revisiting biodiversity in a village of mixed perspectives
An independent thought piece by Carina Wyborn and Jasper Montana.

An Open Letter to Conservation
An independent thought piece by Elliot Connor, founder of Human Nature.