BiodivERsA - ERA-Net for Biodiversity Research

Facing the threat of biodiversity decision makers need from research sustainable concepts for using and retaining natural resources. The ERA-Net BiodivERsA coordinates biodiversity research funding in Europe.
Unterstockvegetation eines Weinbergs (Hochschule Geisenheim University/Ilona Leyer)
BiodivERsA-Project PromESSinG
photo: Hochschule Geisenheim University/Ilona Leyer

Natural diversity is in constant flux due to ongoing changes in our environment. New species are still appearing, while other species are becoming extinct. Human activity has caused this process to become unbalanced, and biological diversity is at risk of being lost. There are serious gaps in our knowledge of the causes, extent and consequences of lost biodiversity. We do not even know the extent of the earth's existing biodiversity. Only one thing is clear - biodiversity forms the basis of our lives!

So research into biodiversity poses the question as to how mankind can make use of and, at the same time, retain natural resources. For more than a decade, BMBF's funding programmes have been a pillar of biodiversity research in Germany. In this context, the ERA-net (European Research Area Network) "BiodivERsA" provides the framework to coordinate our own funding practices with a network of 32 national research funding organisations from 18 European countries as well as 7 overseas territories.

BiodivERsA's activities include organising a European research programme on biodiversity research. From 2008 until 2014 five joint funding calls have been announced within this programme. From 2015 onwards further calls are planned – one of them will be a co-fund call with additional funding by the European Commission. The research programme establishes the framework for a better understanding of the interdependencies between human societies, ecosystems and global change. In this context, research examines how ecosystems work and how to provide services (ecosystem services) to safeguard human well-being in the long term. Effective methods and measures for managing the complex relationships between mankind and its environment also need to be developed.

One of BiodivERsA’s main aims is to ensure that its funding programme helps address policy and society needs. Research results and new knowledge have to become available for the relevant users and will be utilized to inform policy and management. On that account BiodivERsA’s research programming is continuously coordinated with European and international science-policy interfaces (e.g. IPBES, EPBRS).

On behalf of the BMBF the organisational unit Environment and Sustainability in the Project Management Agency of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR-PT) attends on professional and administrative tasks to the ERA-net "BiodivERsA".