The PLAN-B project, funded by the European Research Executive Agency under the HORIZON-CL6-2023-BIODIV-01 programme, has been officially launched on January 1st, 2024. This project will address the adverse impacts of light and noise pollution on terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

The PLAN-B project, short for “The Path Towards Addressing Adverse Impacts of Light and Noise Pollution on Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecosystems“, is European multidisciplinary research project that will run from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2027. 

The project focuses on the growing challenge of light and noise pollution, identified as a significant factor in biodiversity loss. Despite efforts by the EU, such as the European Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the need for a more effective and complementary approach is recognized to address the adverse impacts of light and noise pollution on terrestrial biodiversity. This new approach will be delivered by the PLAN-B project. 

To achieve the project objectives, regulatory, social, environmental and technological solutions will be developed to prevent and mitigate light and noise pollution impacts on terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services and nature restoration activities.   

PLAN-B will develop a framework to assess the impacts of light and noise pollution, and an open-access database on these impacts on terrestrial biodiversity at a European scale and beyond. Additionally, the project will provide essential tools for environmental decision-making and will also generate innovative solutions to prevent and mitigate the impacts of newly emerged pollutants. Moreover, it will focus on establishing Sustainable Practice Communities (CoPs) centred on the effects of light and noise on terrestrial biodiversity. 

This methodological framework will be used in analyses of selected species areas, habitat networks, migration corridors and ecosystem services, as well for mitigation measure testing on different scales across Europe.  

Besides, the project will be able to assess needs and opportunities for integration of light and noise pollution measurements into ongoing activities to monitor terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services.  

The project is coordinated by Ghent University. Prof. Geert Van Hoorick of the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Centre for Environmental and Energy Law, is the scientific coordinator. Other UGent’s professors and researchers involved in the project are Prof. Dick Botteldooren (Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering), Timothy Van Renterghem (Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering), Prof. Hendrik Schoukens (Department of International Public Law, Faculty of Law) and Yana Yakushina (Department of European, Public and International Law, Faculty of Law).  

Additionally, the project involves leading EU institutions such as Gdańsk University of Technology (Poland), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany), Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), Ibercivis Foundation (Spain), Lund University (Sweden) and the City of Gdańsk (Poland). The project supports international collaboration and involves prestige institutions from non-EU member states: University of Salford (UK), UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Switzerland), State University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and Waita Research and Conservation Institute (Brazil).