Monitoring ecosystems through research, innovation and technology
Biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly affecting ecosystem services as well. More than ever, there is a need to enhance the capacity to monitor changes in natural capital, to better understand links between biodiversity loss and the drivers of change and the impact of the former on our society. Ongoing monitoring efforts are spatially and temporally fragmented and taxonomically biased. Key data sets are either not updated or are updated irregularly, so that long-term information is limited. On the other hand, many EU policies, action plans, programmes and initiatives (such as the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, or the 7th EAP) increasingly rely on the supply of harmonised and regularly updated biodiversity data, but EU initiatives to support the monitoring of components of EU biodiversity lack a comprehensive approach. As a result, the actual uptake and use of monitored biodiversity data in policy design, implementation and evaluation is still far too low. The challenge is therefore to harness scientific advances and bring together various actors to strengthen current efforts and devise a structured and cost-effective EU-level approach to ecosystem monitoring combining in-situ, space and air-born monitoring. Call ID: H2020-SC5-2018-2019-2020
The action should design an EU-wide framework for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem services, which
- integrates different reporting streams, data sources and monitoring activities at international, EU, national and regional level (including remote sensing, citizen science and citizens observatories);
- is cost effective;
- links to policy targets, indicators and assessments;
- builds on best practices in EU Member States;
- delivers timely data, which is comparable over time and across the EU Member States.
The action should provide scientific advice and practical analysis on the best EU-level monitoring approaches related to measuring the implementation of key EU ecosystem and biodiversity targets. This includes:
- an analysis of which parts of ecosystems and biodiversity are covered by established monitoring programmes or current initiatives (such as the Pollinators Initiative, the Bioeconomy strategy, etc) and what are the most important gaps;
- designing accurate and cost-effective techniques for establishing regular and comprehensive monitoring systems to fill these gaps (e.g. in-situ surveys, integration of satellite & ground observation data, use of new technologies, etc), and estimating their cost.
The action should play a coordination role, facilitating exchange and discussion between relevant actors, including national and EU level bodies, as well as organisations such as the EEA. It should contribute to a more comprehensive and long-term monitoring of EU ecosystems and biodiversity, building also on existing data collection programmes.
This work could also support/benefit from the EU’s contribution to international biodiversity agreements and initiatives, such as IPBES, GEO/GEOSS and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
The action should also facilitate the work at Member State level to build the national data foundations needed for ecosystem assessment and accounting, by supporting the exchange of experience and by providing capacity building, technical support and workshops. The action is expected to work with KIP INCA partners, as well the EEA, to ensure long-term implementation of biodiversity and ecosystem services monitoring and support the data-related work of relevant EU-funded projects to facilitate the coherence and compatibility of their data and their integration into existing EU-level data bases. Proposals should explore potential synergies with previous and future actions funded under the EU research and innovation framework programmes and avoid duplication and overlaps.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
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