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ERA-NET Cofund action on biodiversity and climate change: Impacts, feedbacks, and nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation


The Cofund action should examine: the impact of climate change on all levels of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services; feedback processes; the potential of nature-based solutions for enhancing climate change adaptation, mitigation, including negative emissions; and synergies and trade-offs between different policies, including those on biodiversity, climate action and air quality. The action should capitalize on major strands of knowledge and on the results of relevant projects funded under past EU Framework Programmes. The Cofund action will target all types of terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, which may also include the impact of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services in agricultural areas and taking agricultural and forestry policies into account.

The Cofund action should be implemented through close cooperation between the Member States and Associated Countries grouped around the BiodivERsA network and in collaboration with the FACCE JPI. The Cofund action should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly. The Cofund action should also take into account data and information from the Copernicus programme, as the European Union's Earth Observation Programme.

Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area. Proposers are requested to include at least one additional joint call without EU co-funding as well as other activities such as the establishment or consolidation of a pan-European network of funding agencies and other key players in Europe, building on previous experience and avoiding overlaps with existing initiatives, support to mutual learning and training, exchange of good practice, researcher mobility and equal opportunities (e.g. through EURAXESS) and better careers in the field. Wherever relevant, actions should involve social sciences and humanities.

Participation of legal entities from third countries, and/or regions including those not automatically eligible for funding in accordance with General Annex A, is encouraged in the joint call as well as in other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding. Participants from countries not listed in General Annex A are eligible for EU funding under this topic and may request a Union contribution (on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost) only for the coordination costs of additional activities. The proposal should demonstrate that these co-funded other activities exclude any overlaps with related on-going actions co-funded by the EU under Horizon 2020.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Climate change is predicted to pose the greatest long-term threat to biodiversity in many regions. It is affecting the habitats of many species, which must either adapt or migrate to areas with more favourable conditions. Biodiversity changes can have knock-on effects upon a range of ecosystem functions and services, including food and biomass production and capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Feedback processes may amplify or diminish the effect of climate forcing, and so play an important part in determining the climate sensitivity to human activities and the future climate state.

Addressing the impact of climate change requires the mobilisation of all relevant actors: academia, research institutes, public authorities at various levels, manufacturing industry and business at large, finance and insurance, non-governmental organisations and civil society. A properly aligned European Research Area, which is also open to the world, can make an essential difference in enabling a transformative, climate-resilient sustainability agenda to take shape. The alignment of research and innovation agendas is therefore crucial in bringing about the necessary transformations.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • effective trans-national, pan-European research networking and synergies among national/regional and EU research programmes in the areas addressed;
  • improved evidence-based policy through the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary science-policy interface and links with international efforts and fora on the areas addressed;
  • underpinning the EU Nature Directives, EU Water and Marine Strategy Framework Directive, EU Biodiversity Strategy, 7th Environment Action Programme, and the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change;
  • informing major international scientific assessments such as the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and contributing to the goals of the Paris Agreement;
  • the protection, restoration and enhancement of natural capital in line with the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the IPBES, the IPCC and further relevant global processes and organisations.