Alterra, the main Dutch centre of expertise on rural areas, was founded 1 January 2000 as a result of a merger between the Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research (SC-DLO), the Institute for Forestry and Nature Research (IBN-DLO) and part of the Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility (AB-DLO). This merger means that Alterra now combines a huge range of expertise on rural areas and their sustainable use, including aspects such as water, wildlife, forests, the environment, soils, landscape, climate and recreation, as well as various other aspects relevant to the development and management of the environment we live in. Alterra engages in strategic and applied research to support design processes, policymaking and management at the local, national and international level. This includes not only innovative, interdisciplinary research on complex problems relating to rural areas, but also the production of readily applicable knowledge and expertise enabling rapid and adequate solutions to practical problems. |The many themes of Alterra's research effort include relations between cities and their surrounding countryside, multiple use of rural areas, economy and ecology, integrated water management, sustainable agricultural systems, planning for the future, expert systems and modelling, biodiversity, landscape planning and landscape perception, integrated forest management, geo-information and remote sensing, spatial planning of leisure activities, habitat creation in marine and estuarine waters, green belt development and ecological webs, and pollution risk assessment. |Alterra is part of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR) and includes two research sites, one in Wageningen and one on the isle of Texel.