Building on the research previously undertaken in the Ecosystems Services and Management and Water programs, the BNR Program fully exploits the potential for biodiversity research within integrated system analysis. 

The program brings together different elements of land and aquatic ecosystems including agriculture, forests, and fisheries with water and the marine environment to inform global and regional policy assessments and provide robust science-based knowledge and foresight. The program aims to establish IIASA as an international community hub for biosphere research through innovative tool development; to lead the integration of biophysical-economic modeling with governance; to engage with stakeholders; and to facilitate community driven efforts. It provides policymaking support through core program and group research undertaken in the four BNR research groups.

BNR further engages in bilateral collaborations with other research programs and groups at the institute on key cross-cutting themes such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, the green economy, resilient food systems, transboundary governance, resource depletion and migration, and digital transformation.