The network URBIO (URban BIOdiversity and Design) is an open worldwide scientific network for education and research with the aim to promote the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in urban areas. Within the CBD programmes, URBIO is scientific advisor for the Major Group “Local Authorities” and partner of the “Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity”.
Members are all persons registered for the URBIO newsletter. Currently the Network has 1121 members from 62 countries (November 2014).
In order to foster the scientific exchange between researchers, practitioners and stakeholders the network organises international scientific conferences and workshops as site events to CBD COP meetings (Conference of the Parties to the CBD), maintains a website, distributes newsletters regularly to the network members and holds contact with various international networks. Since 2008 the URBIO network has held four conferences: URBIO2008 during May 2008 in Erfurt/Germany, URBIO2010 during May 2010 in Nagoya/Japan, URBIO2012 during October 2012 in Mumbai/India, and URBIO2014 during October 2014 in Incheon/Korea.
The network is chaired by the URBIO President who holds the Headquarters and distributes the newsletter. The URBIO network Presidium consists of the President, the Secretary General, three Vice Presidents and Deputy Vice Presidents, each presiding over a main topic of the network, and the Senior Advisors. An Advisory Board supports the Presidium in fostering scientific exchange and decisions for the network. The Advisory Board elects the members of the Presidium for 4 years. After each URBIO conference, the organiser is nominated as Secretary General for a period of 2 years (until the next URBIO conference and CBD COP meeting). The Advisory Board usually meets at URBIO conferences and workshops.
The network was founded in May 2008 by Norbert Muller (University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Germany) who chaired the network until October 2014. Since November 2014 Haripriya Gundimeda (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India) is President of the URBIO network.
The URBIO network is a strictly non-profit scientific organisation, without own budget.
Funds for the scientific work at the URBIO headquarters in Erfurt (e.g. URBIO Conference 2008 including the Book “Urban Biodiversity and Design”, contribution to the “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook” and beyond (e.g. “Towards a Global Research Agenda on Urban Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Design”)) were provided by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in cooperation with the German Federal Agency for Nature conservation in 2006-2009 (Grant Nr. FKZ 80680220) and in 2012-2014 (Grant Nr. FKZ 3410810100). The website of the URBIO network was hosted from 2008-2014 at the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Germany. Website administration was done from 2008-2009 by Jan-Tobias Welzel and from 2010-2014 by Martin Kummerling (both University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Germany).