Research on European biodiversity is rich and varied. It is also dispersed and disconnected and cannot be easily marshalled to address major biodiversity issues. These issues include: the sustainable use of biodiversity; loss of biodiversity; the protection of rare habitats and species; adaptation to climate change; assessment and development of policy and management options to enable society to adapt to environmental change; and the improvement of economic and social benefits derived from European ecosystems and landscapes. \ud \ud As part of the process of improving capability to address these issues on a European scale, ALTER-Net was funded as a Network of Excellence (see Box 1.1) by the European Union's Framework VI programme, to create “A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network”. \ud \ud In this report we summarise the way in which ALTER-Net achieved durable integration of biodiversity research by implementing research, management and cultural changes within and between its 24 component organisations from 17 countries. We also summarise some of the immediate benefits and outcomes from the work and describe how the structures created by ALTER-Net will provide the foundation for future research and knowledge transfer activities on biodiversity and ecosystems. \u
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