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Module description

Welcome to the Climate action: biodiversity UNI-ECO Module!

Biological diversity – more commonly known as biodiversity - is one of the cornerstones of life on Earth. The air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, almost all aspects of our day-to-day existence depend on the diversity of life around us. Ironically, it is humankind's ''day-to-day'' actions that has caused biodiversity to decline at an alarming rate. If we do not do our part to reverse this, millions of species on Earth will go extinct within decades. This has fundamental consequences for our society, economy and health. In other words: it's time for action!

So where to start? What is biodiversity exactly, how specifically is it relevant to us, what are the direct and indirect impacts of our actions, and what can we do to enhance it? In this module, staff members and researchers from Utrecht University will take you on a journey to formulate an answer to these questions.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module, learners will be able to...

  1. … define biodiversity and its key concepts
  2. … explain the relevance of biodiversity to their everyday lives
  3. … identify the (in)direct impact of the individual's and university's actions on local and global biodiversity
  4. … discover hands-on ways to enhance biodiversity in and beyond their own environment: university and individual
  5. ... interpret how universities translate this knowledge in their biodiversity policy

Module teaching staff


Name: Justine van den Bergh

Justine van den Bergh is community coordinator of the Green Office of Utrecht University. She is the first point of contact for UU staff and students when it comes to questions, concerns or ideas about sustainability on campus.

Justine has a Bachelor degree in Global Sustainability Science, with a special focus on governance and societal transformation. Besides her work, she is currently doing her Master's in International Development Studies with a focus on sustainable development diplomacy.

Name: Dr. Katie Barry

Katie Barry is an assistant professor and a researcher in the Ecology and Biodiversity group of Utrecht University. Her research focus is on global change and how this is likely to affect biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems, as well as how those ecosystem functions affect humans.

Additional resources

For more information about biodiversity, to supplement the content of the module, take a moment to watch these additional resources


Context of the module relative to Climate Action

This module relates to the Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action. Through changing weather patterns and conditions, ecosystems are disrupted. Think about increasing temperatures that melt the icecaps, or forest fires that destroy trees and other plants in the area. A healthy, balanced ecosystem can be quite resilient to these changes, however, as biodiversity decreases and climate crises are on the rise, plant and animal species become vulnerable to the threats of climate change.

To begin the module, click on "Biodiversity: Unit 1 - Check your knowledge" below.