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An EU support mechanism for evidence-based policy on biodiversity & ecosystems services

Specific Challenge: The pace of current developments and uncertainties surrounding likely future trends in ecosystems and their services requires further steps to maintain and strengthen the evidence base to ensure that policy makers, businesses and citizens in the EU and Associated Countries can continue to draw on a sound understanding of the state of natural resources and the wider environment, the possible impact of response options and their consequences in social, economic and environmental terms.

Better coordination of often fragmented research and innovation actions within Europe and beyond is needed, accompanied by timely and open exchange of information and research results to enhance the impact of research and ensure a more efficient use of resources and scientific developments.

Innovative ways are required to mobilise all relevant actors, increase policy coherence, resolve trade-offs, manage conflicting interests, increase participation of citizens in decision-making and improve public awareness and business uptake of research results.

Scope: Creation of European networks to facilitate dialogue among the relevant scientific communities, funding bodies and user communities in Europe throughout the duration of Horizon 2020. Proposals should cover activities such as clustering, coordinating and creating synergies between international, European and nationally funded research and innovation actions, developing joint programmes and projects, creating links with related international programmes, forward looking analysis to establish emerging needs, communication and dissemination activities for an improved science-policy interface, and aligning research with decision-making requirements. This requires cross-disciplinary interaction and an integrated, systemic approach, especially between socio-economic and environmental sciences.

Proposals shall address the following issue:

An EU support mechanism for evidence-based policy on biodiversity & ecosystems services: setting up an innovative, self-sustainable governance mechanism with a long-term perspective extending beyond the life of the project to enhance effective and efficient interactions between science, society and policy related to biodiversity and ecosystems services in the EU. This should build on existing science-policy interfaces and include all EU Member States, Associated or Accession Countries and should be open to observers.

Expected impact: Evidence-based policy and appropriate, cost-effective management, planning and adaptation decisions by the public sector, businesses, industry and society through the provision and effective communication of trustworthy and timely science-based information. Enhanced impact of research and innovation activities through better identification of R&I priorities, improved coordination of EU and Member State/Associated Country research and innovation programmes and funded activities, and synergies with international research and innovation programmes.

In addition, the following specific impacts are expected:

Swift response to scientific and technical needs resulting from EU research and innovation and environmental policies in the short term (1-3 years) and further improvements in the medium term (3-10 years). Long-term positive impact on policy- and decision-making to address local, regional, cross-border or pan-European challenges through the provision of knowledge assessments, advice and science-based options and link in with international efforts and fora on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions