International nature conservation programs were originally driven by field biologists. As environment has assumed increasing prominence on the international political agenda, the role of biologists has been marginalised. International programs now have ambitious targets set by politicians and aspire to save the world.There is a need to balance these global environmental initiatives with a set of shorter-term practical actions to maximise biodiversity conservation. Biological scientists can cooperate with other natural resource specialists and social scientists in defining more targeted cost-effective nature conservation programs. A case is made for the Prince Bernhard Chair at the University of UTRECHT to focus on this interface between science and conservation practices.