Droevendaalsesteeg 3A
P.O.Box 47
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands

Phone +31 317 47 7770
Fax +31 317 42 4988

E-mail: MartJan.Schelhaas email.jpg

Annual turnover: 53279 K./EUR

Number of employees: 585

Alterra is the main Dutch centre of expertise on rural areas and their sustainable use. Alterra is part of the Wageningen University Research Centre (Wageningen UR). This new alliance brings many benefits. Within the walls of our institute you will find employees of both the university and Alterra. The combined strength will certainly improve our services to our customers and MOU partners all over the world.

At Alterra we combine a huge range of expertise on sustainable agricultural systems, planning for the future, expert systems and modelling, biodiversity monitoring, landscape planning and landscape perception, integrated forest and nature management, geo-information and remote sensing, climate change modelling, soil degradation, spatial planning of leisure activities, habitat creation in terrestrial environments and marine and estuarine waters, green belt development and ecological webs, and pollution risk assessment, relations between cities and their surrounding countryside, multiple use of rural areas, economy and ecology and integrated water management.

Alterra's research products are books, brochures, videos and software for simulation models, databases and decision support systems. Alterra publishes each year:

  • 750 publications
  • 230 articles
  • 300 reports

Alterra also provides a wide range of detailed maps based on satellite data and giving information on all sorts of topics ranging from climate changes to soil contamination.

International Partners

As many environmental issues require an international approach, international co-operation and input is essential. Alterra realises the importance of co-operation on both national and international scale of research institutes and education centres. Alterra is partner in the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER) founded in 2001 to combine the forces of the 7 largest European environmental research centres. One of our most important collaboration is our partnership with Wageningen University and Research Centre on interaction between climate changes and biosphere CCB (Climate Change on Biosphere). Alterra is leading partner in the Wageningen UR Climate Change and Biosphere Research Programme. Alterra Wageningen UR together with IHE Delft, have also been co-hosting the International Secretariat of the current Dialogue on Water and Climate (DWC), which is planned to conclude its programmatic and organisational transition by the end of 2003. The current DWC programme was culminated at the 3rd World Water Forum (WWF) in Kyoto.

An overview of Alterra's various clients:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV)
  • Other Dutch ministries: Environment; Public Works; Foreign Affairs
  • Local and regional authorities
  • Nature conservation organisations
  • World Bank, FAO, ADB
  • Private companies
  • European Union

Professional people

To manage our broad range of research, our staff of over 500 persons are divided into the following research departments: Ecology and the Environment, Water and the Environment, Ecology and Society, Landscape and Spatial Planning, Landscape Ecology Soil and Land Use, Centre for Geo-information Group, Software Engineering Wageningen, and the business unit Alterra-ILRI (International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement).

Several of our staff members are internationally recognised experts, each with their own specific know-how. Alterra has a long history of fielding staff to locations all over the world to advise on, and assist in, the planning and execution of numerous projects. As a result, Alterra has gained extensive, first-hand experience of the working of governmental organisations and structures, and of the implementation of policies and procedures. In addition, we have established a solid record of co-operating successfully with the staff of local counterpart institutions in local working conditions.