Piet van der Meer is trained as a biologist and a lawyer at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, with specialisations in microbiology and ecology, as well as in environmental and international law.
From 1986 until 1999, he was in charge of biosafety regulation in the Netherlands, heading a team of legal and scientific professionals that handled requests for contained use, field trials and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms. During this time he was closely involved in the development of the EU regulatory framework for GMOs, and he participated on behalf of the Netherlands in many international fora, such as the OECD, Council of Europe, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and acted as chair in many of these fora. He also provided frequent training on the legal and scientific aspects of biosafety regulations and risk assessment.
From 1999 to 2002, Piet van der Meer managed the capacity building project “Implementation of National Biosafety Frameworks of the pre-accession countries in Central and Eastern Europe”, aimed at laying a firm foundation for the development of national biosafety frameworks consistent international and EU obligations.
From December 2002 to May 2004 he served as programme manager of the UNEP-GEF projects on Implementation of National Biosafety Frameworks, aimed at assisting participating countries in establishing and implementing workable and transparent national biosafety systems.
Piet van der Meer operates since August 2004 as an independent consultant , offering consulting and management services to governments and international organisations, primarily in the fields of international and national environmental policies and regulations, with a particular specialisation on biotechnology regulation. Over the years, he has provided scientific and regulatory support for biotechnology regulation in over 50 countries and to many national and international organisations.
Since 2006, Piet van der Meer teaches as a guest professor at the Ghent University on the topic biotechnology regulation at the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Law, and since 2014 he also teaches as a guest professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) the course Biotechnology regulation at the Faculty of Science. At the VUB, Piet van der Meer also coordinates the preparation of the VUB Multi-disciplinary Program on Sustainable Food and Biomass Systems (link).