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EU Prize for Women Innovators

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:

Illustration of two hands holding a globe

A research roadmap for sustainable land management

The EU-funded project INSPIRATION aims to develop a European research roadmap on sustainable land management practices. The agenda would help focus Europe's research, supporting policymaking on environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and economically affordable soil and land use management.

Photo of eucalyptus plantation in Brazil

Environmental success stories get second life

While the motto 'local problems, local solutions' holds particular sway for environmental problems, is it possible to take one local solution and transfer it to another region? Yes, according to EU-funded researchers who did exactly that in Latin America.

 

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