In line with the European Green Deal priorities, in particular with the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 and the 2030 climate pact, successful proposals 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. They will also help understanding the impacts of and the opportunities offered by digital transformation, new emerging technologies, and social innovation on biodiversity. Successful proposals will contribute to the following expected impact: mainstream biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural capital in the society and economy: integrate them into public and business decision-making; build approaches for enabling transformative changes to face societal challenges including through the deployment of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS).
Projects should address all of the following outcomes:
- Foresight on society well-being based on realistic assumptions on careful use of natural capital and analysis of the consequences in terms of economic growth.
- Evaluation of feasibility and limits of decoupling economic activities from natural capital use.
- Knowledge and understanding of the transformative changes needed to address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss underpinned by societal values and behaviours, better design of policy mixes and governance.
- Operational knowledge available to, and used by policymakers, on indirect drivers of biodiversity loss that are underpinned by societal values and behaviours, and on the transformative changes that are necessary to tackle these indirect drivers.
- Improved and new systemic, sustainable policy mixes and governance approaches developed to enable biodiversity-relevant transformative change, based on a range of policy tools, economic research, instruments or regulations.
- Methods and tools promoting win-win solutions for biodiversity and socio-economic objectives, the use and mainstreaming of ‘green over grey’ approaches and the application of the ‘do no harm’ principle are available and taken up across the policy spectrum, planning and investment decisions, business and finance, and civil society.
- Approaches to facilitate the application of such methods and tools are identified and used, while factoring in societal and political processes (such as citizen engagement, political campaigns, science denialism). Solutions can include stocktaking of good practice, standards, agreements, charters, commitments, regulations, engaging society and incorporating lifelong learning.
- A better understanding of the impacts on, risks and opportunities for biodiversity of digital transformation (for example data-driven technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, miniaturised sensors, citizen science applications, crowd sourcing), new materials (e.g., for biomimicry), the energy sector (e.g., through energy/electricity infrastructure), and new and emerging technologies.
- Identification and assessment of how system-level change affecting biodiversity through social innovation happens.
- Testing active intervention by R&I policy and sector policies (niche creation, reformulation of governance), also by empowering and endowing communities.
In line with the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, successful proposals will develop:
- operational knowledge and understanding of transformative change needed to address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss underpinned by societal values and behaviours, which is available to, and used by policy makers.
- improved and innovative governance tools and policy mixes that can effectively initiate, accelerate and upscale such biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.
- help understanding the impacts of and the opportunities offered by digital transformation, use of data and sensors, emerging technologies such as AI and robotics and social innovation on biodiversity.
- Proposals should look at key indirect drivers of biodiversity loss (including production and consumption patterns, human population dynamics and trends, trade, technological innovations and local through global governance), the kind of transformative changes necessary to tackle these societal drivers, effective governance approaches, tools and policy mixes to enable these changes, and how to further mainstream biodiversity into policy making, science, and governance within and beyond socio-economic, climate and environmental agendas.
- Proposals should generate knowledge on how to tackle biodiversity loss linked to technological and social innovation, which includes digitalisation. Proposals should explain how changes by technological/social innovation are impacting biodiversity – for example by bringing in new and emerging technologies, new production processes, consumer products, regulations, incentives, or participatory processes.
- Proposals should produce case studies on what transformative change means in practice and a collection of good and failed examples of developing and implementing policy tools, best practices and instruments, and on impacts of digitalisation, which could feed into the just transition process and inform and inspire transformative change through learning, co-creation and dialogue.
- Proposals should develop methodologies to assess the impacts of their proposed solutions on policy and its decision making. This includes impacts from energy/electricity infrastructure related to digitalisation, on democracy and on trust in science on environmental, social and economic systems. Such assessments should focus on the direct and indirect effects of digital developments on biodiversity, intertwined with climate change and health.
- This topic should involve contributions from the social sciences and humanities disciplines, as well as social innovation.
- The proposals should build their analysis upon the synergies of multiple Sustainable Development Goals, to deliver direct and indirect biodiversity benefits, and of the role of biodiversity in reaching the set of Sustainable Development Goals, considering the importance of policy mixes, governance and digitalisation.
- Proposals should include specific tasks and allocate sufficient resources to develop joint deliverables (e.g., activities, workshops, joint communication and dissemination) with all projects from the same topic and the portfolio of all projects on transformative change related to biodiversity funded under this destination since 2021.
- Proposals should use or interoperate with existing platforms and information sharing mechanisms relevant for transformational change and on biodiversity knowledge.
- Projects are expected to cooperate with the European partnership on biodiversity, Biodiversa+, and the Science Service project Bio-agora. Proposals should show how their results and outcomes could provide timely information for major science-policy bodies such as the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
- Where relevant, projects are expected to create links to and use information, data and impact-related knowledge from the European Earth observation programme Copernicus, the ESA EO4SD initiative, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).