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BiodivERsA

An ERA-NET in biodiversity research


Participants

21

Countries

14

Calls

1

Projects

12

Objective

At the time when BiodivERsA was planned, many scientists and international bodies, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the Millenium ecosystem assessment, considered that the rate of species extinctions was accelerating. There is now clear evidence that the rates of extinction of biological species are dozens to hundreds of times the normal background rates.
The potential impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function...

At the time when BiodivERsA was planned, many scientists and international bodies, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the Millenium ecosystem assessment, considered that the rate of species extinctions was accelerating. There is now clear evidence that the rates of extinction of biological species are dozens to hundreds of times the normal background rates.
The potential impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning are likely to have indirect impacts on the capacity of natural and managed ecosystems to deliver ecological goods and services, such as food and fibre, carbon storage, soil fertility, nutrient cycles and resistance to environmental change as, for instance, climate change. Several reviews published in the last years support this likeliness, stressing that such losses, often incurred by human activities (habitat loss or disturbance, shifts in land-use, introduction of invasive species, etc.) will reduce nature’s ability to maintain ecological status and ecosystem services. Furthermore, there is growing evidence that in addition to cultural and ethical values, the biological diversity and abundance of species is a major factor impacting processes and services that directly affect humanity. The loss of biodiversity and ecosystem degradation therefore constitutes a major scientific and societal challenge of our times.
In order to address these challenges, adequate financial resources must be allocated to national and European biodiversity research programmes. In addition to the volume of investment, efficient transnational cooperation and joint actions are needed to integrate biodiversity science at national and international levels, which are often the relevant scales at which these issues need to be addressed. BiodivERsA contributes to creating synergies between teams working on similar topics, thus avoiding any duplication of effort. This is a gradual and continuous process, through which competitive research consortia can emerge and succeed better in the international

Mapping

The identification of priority thematic areas for collaboration in research on biodiversity was a strategic step in the development of this ERA-net. This activity laid the groundwork for defining the topic of a joint call agreed within the BiodivERsA consortium. Priority areas for research on biodiversity carried out in the developing countries were also identified. In addition, the BiodivERsA partners have established a searchable, internet-based database giving access to information on the ...

The identification of priority thematic areas for collaboration in research on biodiversity was a strategic step in the development of this ERA-net. This activity laid the groundwork for defining the topic of a joint call agreed within the BiodivERsA consortium. Priority areas for research on biodiversity carried out in the developing countries were also identified. In addition, the BiodivERsA partners have established a searchable, internet-based database giving access to information on the majority of EU, national and regional funding programmes and funded projects for biodiversity research.

The database is freely accessible by the public. The development of this tool implied work for gathering information in the appropriate format, as well as significant work on biodiversity science classification, in order to enable analysis of the data. This database allows scientists and managers to search funding sources and provides a fair view of the biodiversity research landscape in Europe. This ERA-net created synergies, collaborative working and achieved fruitful convergence through building trust and developing a mutual culture between partners. It also allowed funding agencies to collate existing activities, compare future strategies and systematically explore areas of opportunity for future collaboration. This effort contributes to implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy and to addressing crucial scientific issues to manage and conserve biodiversity.

Joint Calls

Call Launch date No. of funding agencies No of projects funded Call budget
BiodivERsA - 2008 23 Nov 2007 12 12 14,200,000
 
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