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Biodiversity, water, food, energy, transport, climate and health nexus in the context of transformative change
Deadline: Oct 6, 2021  
- 13 days

 Fisheries and Food
 Biodiversity
 Innovation
 Social Innovation
 Environment
 Sustainable Development
 Gender Equality
 Aerospace Technology
 Transport
 Climate Sciences
 Research
 European Union
 Pollution

ExpectedOutcome:

In line with the EU biodiversity strategy, a successful proposal will develop knowledge and tools to understand the role of transformative change for biodiversity policy making, address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and initiate, accelerate and upscale biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.

Proposals should look at how to further mainstream biodiversity into policy making and governance (including financing) for achieving transformative action, both under and above the scope of socio-economic and environmental agendas.

The project should address all following outcomes:

  • The interlinkages (nexus) between biodiversity, water, food, energy, transport and health in the context of climate change, the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change to achieve the 2050 vision for biodiversity are assessed.
  • Options for change, showing which societal factors (including policy competences, markets and stakeholder interests) drive transformative change with a positive effect on biodiversity, and which factors drive transitions that have a negative impact on biodiversity in the short-, medium- and long-term, are identified, understood, and co-developed by the relevant actors.
  • Guidance to facilitate potential just transition pathways and actions at European level to feed into systemic policy decisions. This includes guidance on how to enhance the synergies between biodiversity preservation and action on climate-neutrality, and how to avoid trade-offs.
  • Specifying the meaning of transformational change in practice, based on case studies illustrating how to put transformational change into action. Creating specific narratives, business models and policies, including on nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation, water and health, to aid the transition to a biodiversity- and climate friendly, sustainable Europe.
  • Knowledge is produced (e.g. meta-studies[1], publications) and made available by 2023-2024, fit for the production of IPBES assessments on transformational change and on the nexus between biodiversity, climate, water, food and health. Putting in place measures to build capacity, policy support, and science brokerage of project results, including after the release dates of the IPBES assessments, by effective and impactful dissemination.
  • Scientists dispose of a network that facilitates and promotes research on transformational change for biodiversity across natural and social sciences[2].
  • Approaches, tools and knowledge influence policies at appropriate level on transformative change for biodiversity – the key elements for this change are delivered by the portfolio of cooperating projects (of which this project forms part of).
Scope:

The European Green Deal and its biodiversity strategy call for transformative change, which requires the policy and tools to bring about transformative change. The post-2020 biodiversity goals risks to be missed from the outset if the required policy decisions are not taken and implementation is not secured. Policy makers find the task of translating science on transformative change into policy daunting and challenging. This is where European research and innovation together with the community outside academia (business, government organisations etc.) must urgently demonstrate what transformative change could actually mean and achieve for biodiversity. There is also a need for practical guidance to policy makers and society on the impacts of the necessary structural, ecological, social and economic transformations the European Green Deal could achieve.

The European Union and associated countries still need to identify the key factors in society that can stimulate or hinder this transition across the continent and share such findings with other regions of the world. This includes research into behavioural, social, cultural, economic, institutional, infrastructure, technical and technological factors.

Proposals should focus on indirect drivers of biodiversity loss: production and consumption patterns, human population dynamics and trends, trade, technological innovations, local to global governance (including financing), which in turn cause the direct drivers (land and sea use change, over-exploitation, climate change, pollution, invasive species).

With the focus on biodiversity, and links to human activity, proposals should examine how transformative change takes place in different societal and cultural contexts. They should look at what triggers these changes and what obstacles there are (behavioural, financial, policy, institutional, power setting etc). The proposals should measure and model their impact; and provide options for action (at individual, business and society level) to promote and enable transformative changes, including through nature-based solutions. Social innovation and the gender dimension should be explored when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. The proposals should should look at gender dynamics and diversity to investigate how different identities and social groups are tangibly promoting transformative changes through bottom-up transition initiatives for sustainable lifestyles that are of major relevance to biodiversity.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is for biodiversity and ecosystems services what IPCC is for climate change. In this context, this topic should support the upcoming IPBES assessments, expected to deliver in 2023-24, on transformational change and on the nexus of biodiversity, climate, water, food and health, with an additional focus on energy and transport. The IPBES assessment is expected to examine, inter alia:

(a) Values (relational, utilitarian, etc.) and how they influence behaviour;
(b) Notions of good quality of life, worldviews and cultures, models of interaction between nature and people and social narratives;
(c) The role of social norms and regulations, and of economic incentives and other institutions in leveraging behavioural change in individuals, businesses, communities and societies;
(d) The role of technologies and technology assessment;
(e) The role of collective action;
(f) The role of complex systems and transitions theory;
(g) Obstacles to achieving transformative change;
(h) Equity and the need for “just transitions”;
(i) Lessons from previous transitions.

The project should feed input into this assessment, critically examining the usability of the IPBES conceptual framework for these aspects.

Proposals should provide case studies and collect good and failed examples, including current and business models, the role of citizen science, and scenarios that could provide useful input into these transformations and inform and inspire transformative change through learning, co-creation and dialogue.

Proposals should build their analysis on synergies between multiple Sustainable Development Goals to deliver both direct and indirect biodiversity benefits. They should also look at the role of biodiversity in reaching the set of Sustainable Development Goals, when related to the interlinkages (nexus) between biodiversity, water, food, energy, transport and health[3] in the context of climate change, the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, and the determinants of transformative change.

Proposals should include specific tasks and allocate sufficient resources to develop joint deliverables (e.g. activities, workshops, joint communication and outreach) with all projects on transformative change related to biodiversity funded under this destination. They should use existing platforms and information sharing mechanisms relevant to transformational change and to biodiversity knowledge[4]. Furthermore, cooperation is expected with the Biodiversity Partnership (HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-02-01), the Science Service HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-19, and the Convention on Biological Diversity and projects under ‘HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-20: Support to processes triggered by IPBES and IPCC’ and ‘HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-01-10: Cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity’.

This topic should involve contributions from social science and humanities disciplines.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Social Innovation
Societal Engagement
Socio-economic science and humanities
EOSC and FAIR data

[1]Based on available knowledge, such as in GBO-5, EEA reports on transformative change, EU workshop on transformational change for biodiversity (https://ec.europa.eu/info/events/workshop-transformative-change-global-post-2020-biodiversity-framework-2020-mar-18_en), FP7 and H2020 projects on urban and climate transformations, including under the projects from topic LC-CLA-14-2020 Understanding climate-water-energy-food nexus and streamlining water-related policies

[2]STEAM and SSH

[3]Integrating lessons from the global ‘One Health’ and the One Health European Joint Programmes, IPBES workshop report on biodiversity and pandemics and cooperation with projects HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-11: ‘What else is out there? Exploring the connection between biodiversity, ecosystems services, pandemics and epidemic risk’ and HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-02-02-two-stage: ‘Developing nature-based therapy for health and well-being’.

[4]BISE, EC Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity, BiodivERsA, Oppla, NetworkNature and their joint work streams.



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