Ariel Brunner

Senior Head of Policy
BirdLife Europe and Central Asia

Based in Brussels, Ariel Brunner is Senior Head of Policy at BirdLife Europe and Central Asia. He coordinates work on a wide range of policies ranging from nature and biodiversity conservation to climate and energy, fisheries and agriculture. He is currently a member of the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance and the board of the Renewable Grid Initiative.

Over the last decade, he has been deeply involved in debates on reforming the Common Agriculture Policy and is widely recognised as a prominent expert on the environmental impacts of EU farm policies. He has chaired DG Agriculture’s Advisory Group on Agriculture and Environment and has been a member of its Expert group on Public Goods and the European Commission’s High-level Steering Group on the European Innovation Partnership on agriculture.

In recent years, he has played a leading role in advocacy around the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the NatureAlert campaign to defend and improve the implementation of the EU nature protection legislation. He has been very active in debates over the sustainability of renewable energy and in particular of bioenergy as a leading critic of EU support for biofuels. He has been involved in numerous studies, policy developments and political processes linked to the EU Renewable Energy Directives, the sustainability criteria for biofuels, and the indirect land use change controversy.

Before moving to Brussels, he was driving the implementation of EU nature conservation legislation in Italy and has been instrumental to the designation of the country’s Special Protection Areas network (sites protected under the EU Wild Birds Directive). He has been involved in species conservation projects, legal battles for the conservation of protected sites, and efforts to improve the implementation of hunting legislation.

Born in Israel, he holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences at Milan University.