Hens Runhaar said goodbye to Wageningen UR as special professor of Management of Biodiversity & Agricultural Landscapes with FNP on 31 August.
Professor Runhaar's research is very topical, illustrated by the theme of the opening of the academic year 2020-2021, being ’Nature and agriculture: a continuous balancing act’. This theme completely fits Hens’ research domain in the past five eventful years. Runhaar’s endowed professorship followed that by Geert de Snoo as special chair in Agricultural Nature Management.
Prof Runhaar has put a lot of energy into his assignment. At a time when the divisions in agriculture have started to change. Current discussions in rural areas now focus on circular agriculture and nature-inclusive agriculture, in which agricultural nature and landscape management is one of the instruments. In recent years, it has become apparent that private sector parties are also committed to promoting biodiversity in agricultural areas and can be rewarded for doing this. Think of “On the Way to Planet Proof”. Inevitably, Prof. Runhaar's field of work shifted and broadened in the direction of studying this transition of agriculture. An example is his work on citizen’s valuation of and attitudes towards agricultural biodiversity. Hens and a team of colleagues from Wageningen concluded that providing information does not influence attitudes. However, it does influence the values assigned to agrobiodiversity.
Prof. Runhaar is also Associate Professor at Utrecht University and an expert in the fields of governance and transition. He will remain as a visiting professor with the FNP group.
A webinar was held on 30 September by Wageningen University to say farewell to Prof. Runhaar.