FONA Strategy

With the FONA strategy published at the end of 2020, the BMBF has aligned its research funding for climate protection and greater sustainability with the United Nations' 2030 Agenda. The FONA Strategy focuses on the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and formulates three strategic goals to which research can make a decisive contribution. The goals are concretised in eight priority fields of action. For each field of action, it is shown here how it is underpinned by concrete actions to achieve the strategic goals.

Goal 1: Achieve the climate goals

Global warming is mainly due to an increase in man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The consequences can already be observed worldwide. In Germany, too, we are feeling the effects of climate change: the incidence of heavy rainfall, drought and heat records is increasing, and sea levels are rising.

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Field of action 1: Avoiding and reducing greenhouse gases (mitigation)
Field of action 1: Avoiding and reducing greenhouse gases (mitigation)

Germany aims to be largely greenhouse gas neutral by 2050. To achieve this, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels in accordance with the Federal Climate Action Act. This requires …

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Field of action 2: Improving adaptability and risk prevention (adaptation)
Field of action 2: Improving adaptability and risk prevention (adaptation)

Extreme weather events such as heat waves and droughts, heavy rainfall, floods and storms cause billions of euros in damage, some of which is life-threatening. Knowledge is therefore needed about how climate change affects the frequency and …

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Field of action 3: Knowledge for effective climate policy
Field of action 3: Knowledge for effective climate policy

To achieve an effective international climate policy, political decision-makers need reliable forecasts of global climate developments, including in the marine and polar regions.

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Goal 2: Research, protect and use habitats and natural resources

Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are the basis of all life. However, due to rapid population and economic growth and the consequences of climate change, they are highly vulnerable. Globally, water scarcity, water pollution and land degradation increasingly threaten our ecosystems and affect the economic and political stability of entire regions and countries. The protection and sustainable use of natural resources is therefore a central theme of the 2030 Agenda – and also of FONA.

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Field of action 4: Conservation of biodiversity and habitats
Field of action 4: Conservation of biodiversity and habitats

The current decline in biodiversity and changes in terrestrial, inland aquatic and marine ecosystems are unprecedented in history.

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Field of action 5: Securing natural resources (water, soils)
Field of action 5: Securing natural resources (water, soils)

The global demand for resources already exceeds what the Earth itself can renew. Global population growth will further increase pressure on natural resources such as clean water and usable land.

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Field of action 6: The circular economy
Field of action 6: The circular economy

Our linear economy leads to excessive consumption of resources and produces large amounts of waste. Per capita demand for raw materials in Germany is twice as high as the global average.

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Goal 3: Develop society and the economy – good living conditions throughout the country

The 2030 Agenda addresses the issue of a sustainable and decent life for all people regardless of their place of residence and social background through a number of SDGs. The challenges of achieving this also exist in Germany. There are considerable regional differences in terms of economic performance and innovative strength. Strong economic areas stand in contrast to regions – both rural and urban – with lower income and employment opportunities. About 40 per cent of the population in Germany lives in structurally weak regions. These include old industrial centres, rural areas and numerous border and coastal regions in the east and west.

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Field of action 7: Shaping society together – strengthening cohesion
Field of action 7: Shaping society together – strengthening cohesion

Making an innovation-oriented, sustainable and socially just future possible – that is our declared goal.

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Field of action 8: Innovative regions
Field of action 8: Innovative regions

We want strong, attractive and sustainable regions throughout Germany. That is why we want to promote innovation-based, resource-saving and climate-friendly structural change that will secure prosperity and jobs.

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Intersecting topics

In addition to the 25 actions, there are intersecting topics that play an important role across the entire FONA strategy. These are (1) digitisation, (2) knowledge and technology transfer, (3) European and international cooperation, and (4) research infrastructures. By thinking about the intersecting topics in all objectives, fields of action and actions, we ensure that research in FONA is interconnected, effective and future-oriented.

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