The Institute for Environmental Studies (Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken, IVM) is an interdisciplinary research institute in the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW) at the VU University Amsterdam. Since its creation in 1971, the institute has pioneered research in a number of fields including environmental risk assessment, economic valuation of ecosystem services, environmental governance and participative environmental decision-making. IVM's research is organised in four departments: Chemistry and Biology, Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy Analysis and Spatial Analysis and Decision Support. The institute's mission is to contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection through scientific research and teaching. A unique feature of the institute's work is the capacity to conduct environmental studies in their societal and economic context by integrating natural and social science perspectives.