Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Inter-relations between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services

Topic identifier: LC-CLA-06-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
14 November 2018
2nd stage Deadline:
19 February 2019 17:00:00
04 September 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The Paris Agreement notes the importance of taking action to ensure the integrity of all ecosystems and the protection of biodiversity in the context of combatting climate change and adapting to its impacts. An improved understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between ecological processes and climate change, together with evidence-based guidance, is crucial for the development of appropriate solution-oriented strategies and measures for biodiversity conservation and cost-effective ecosystems-based climate change adaptation and mitigation. Furthermore, there are opportunities to let biodiversity and ecosystems benefit multidimensionally from climate change adaptation and mitigation, because intelligent climate policy can simultaneously reduce other environmental stresses, such as air pollution.


Actions should investigate at all relevant spatial and temporal scales the way that ecological processes, biodiversity (including terrestrial and/or marine ecosystems as appropriate) and ecosystem services are impacted, both directly and indirectly, by climate change. Actions should consider the interactions and feedbacks between climate change and biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services. The vulnerability of biodiversity and ecosystems functions and services to climate change should be investigated and modelled across a range of European (including other European territories) climatic and ecological regions; this includes human activities with relevance to climate change. They should account for social, ecological and economic aspects and climate change relevant stressors and sources of uncertainty. These should include tipping points and safe operating spaces. The role of nature-based solutions[1]in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies should be assessed and synergies with other pollution-reducing environmental policies be explored. Work should build, as appropriate, on existing knowledge and activities such as relevant FP7/Horizon 2020 and LIFE projects, European climate adaptation platforms and Copernicus Services, in particular on climate change, land monitoring and marine environmental monitoring, and contribute to long-term monitoring initiatives.

Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with CELAC[2] countries.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million to 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • more effective, integrated and evidence-based biodiversity conservation strategies and ecosystem management in the face of climate change;
  • pushing the EU to the forefront in climate-change predictive capacity through models better accounting for the interactions and feedbacks between biodiversity, ecosystems and the climate system;
  • more effective ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation, through evidence-based design and implementation of systemic nature-based solutions ;
  • enhanced ecosystem integrity, functionality, resilience and delivery of services;
  • increased investment in nature-based solutions, and ecosystem conservation, restoration and management, to support climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies;
  • providing evidence on the impacts of biodiversity on climate mitigation and adaptation, including indicators/quantitative data;
  • underpinning the EU Nature Directives, EU Biodiversity Strategy, 7th Environment Action Programme, and the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change;
  • informing major international scientific assessments such as the IPCC reports and the IPBES;
  • the protection, restoration and enhancement of natural capital in line with the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and further relevant global processes and organisations.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
Blue Growth
International cooperation

[1]A definition is provided in the introductory text of this Work Programme

[2]Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. 

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below. 

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission link below.
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement

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Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Inter-relations between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services - LC-CLA-06-2019
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