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Arjen Buijs is a trained sociologist who works in the field of socio-ecological interactions, with a specific focus on the role of citizens and self-organisation in nature conservation practices across Europe. He critically assesses the role of citizens in the consumption and production of natural landscapes. Topics include nature experiences and cultural diversity, self-governance and public participation, and human-nature conflicts. His PhD focused on the cultural diversity of images of nature among the Dutch public.
Focusing on the Global North, his research engages with topics such as nature experiences, biodiversity protection, management of urban and peri-urban green, and wildlife. Arjen has published on a diverse range of theoretical approaches, including framing theory, social representation theory, and mosaic governance. He is associate editor for the BES Journal People & Nature and for Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.
Current projects focus on the role of individual and organised citizens in transformations towards sustainability ("Citizens for Biodiversity"), the importance of relational thinking for Nature Based Sollutions (introducing the concept of "Nature Based Thinking"), "in-between-spaces" as boundary object for nature experiences for young people and underpriviliged groups ("VIVA-PLAN" and "Planning with Youth") and the effects of digitalisation on nature experiences ("Digital conservation"). Arjen explicitly aims for social impact through transdisciplinary research, policy evaluations, advice, workshops and presentations for e.g. EU, European cities, NGOs, PBL, SBB, Ministry of Economic Affairs and other actors from policy and society.
Arjen teaches "People in forest and nature conservation", on people's moral, relational and active engagements with nature (FNP-24806). In his home-town Utrecht, he has initiated several green initiatives to reconnect children and nature. Arjen is a member of the jury for Trouw Duurzame-100.