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world aids day logo1 December 2014 is World AIDS Day

Find out about EU-funded research related to HIV/AIDS

International Day for Biological Diversity: EU Research

The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

Biodiversity is the complex web of life on Earth, incorporating humans and our social and economic systems. The number of life-forms on Earth is unknown, but it may be some 20–30 million species, of which only about 1.8 million are known to science. Biodiversity can be studied at the level of the whole planet or confined to a mountain lake. However, whatever the level, the organisms interact in a complex, dynamic manner – both among themselves and with the non-living environment they share. Animals, plants and micro-organisms are a vital resource for humans, forming important elements in many processes on which we depend. .

European research is directed towards assessing and forecasting changes in biodiversity and understanding the dynamics of ecosystems, particularly marine ecosystems. The relationships between the environment, the society and the economy are analysed in order to identify – and mitigate – potentially harmful effects on the environment and on human health and society. Risk assessments based on European research allow us to better manage, conserve and rehabilitate our ecosystems in a sustainable manner for future generations.

Here are two examples of successful, EU-funded biodiversity-related research projects:

Photo of seeaweeds

Innovative textiles to boost EU seaweed farming

Seaweed is an important but under-exploited resource for food and feed ingredients, biochemicals and the production of biofuels. But it has been difficult to harvest efficiently on a large scale. Until now. The EU-funded AT~SEA project has developed advanced textiles that give high yields from floating seaweed farms and allow easy, mechanised cultivation.

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Fish of the future

One out of every two fish which we eat has not been caught in the sea but raised on a farm. Can aquaculture make fish tastier and more environmentally friendly? An experimental fish farming facility near Brest in France is taking part in a European project to connect aquaculture research centres across the EU.

 

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