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Research and innovation

Biodiversity research policy

EU biodiversity research policy, focus areas, Horizon Europe, partnerships, documents and related links

How does Horizon Europe support biodiversity?

The EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe (2021-2027), dedicates funding to protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity and managing sustainably natural resources on land and at sea, and achieving climate neutrality and adaptation.
Halting biodiversity decline and restoring ecosystems will happen through

  • understanding biodiversity decline, and addressing its main drivers
  • valuing and restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • managing biodiversity in primary production
  • enabling transformative change on biodiversity
  • interconnecting biodiversity research and supporting policies

For the organisation of research priorities, a long-term strategic research agenda for biodiversity is being developed.

EU missions

The new EU missions, in particular the proposed mission on a climate-resilient Europe that aims to accelerate the systemic transformation, will also play an important role in testing, deploying and scaling up nature-based solutions and restoring biodiversity as core elements of this transformation.

Other EU missions that will also foster biodiversity restoration are on restoring our oceans and waters, climate-neutral and smart cities and caring for soil.

European Partnership on biodiversity

The candidate European Partnership on biodiversity ‘Rescuing biodiversity to safeguard life on Earth’ will support better implementation of biodiversity research and innovation across funders in Europe. It aims to bridge the gap between science, policy and practice, monitoring biodiversity, and making nature-based solutions a reality on the ground.

To do this the partnership brings together resources from the Commission, EU countries, research funders and public authorities responsible for biodiversity policy and implementation to

  • co-develop multidisciplinary research and innovation programmes with stakeholders
  • set up a European network of observatories to monitor biodiversity 
  • increase the relevance, impact and visibility of research and innovation and EU leadership in tackling the biodiversity crisis

How much will be spent?

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 stipulates an increase in the budget for biodiversity in the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon Europe compared to its predecessor Horizon 2020.

The European Commission strives to reach an overall spending target on biodiversity for its long term budget 2021-2027 of 7.5% in 2024-25, and of 10% as of 2026 onwards.

What was done in Horizon 2020?

The EU has invested in biodiversity-related areas under the research and innovation programme, 2014-2020 Horizon 2020. Its 2018-2020 work programme includes actions on the interplay between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services, monitoring biodiversity, understanding and protecting pollinators, fighting plastic pollution and improving air and health through investing in nature-based solutions.

Through Horizon 2020, over 70 cities have been involved in nature-based solution demonstration projects.

The EU also supports biodiversity research through the Biodiversa ERA-net, which coordinates national research programmes across Europe and organises international funding for biodiversity research projects on a competitive basis.

Call for green projects

The Horizon 2020 Green Deal call was launched in September 2020, the last and biggest call under the programme, with projects planned to start in mid-2021. One area, worth more than €80 million, is on restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services at scale to enable transformative change. Other areas on climate and food systems are relevant for biodiversity and to mainstream biodiversity into cross-sectorial policies, and on bringing knowledge together on pandemics and biodiversity.

Research for global biodiversity

European research and innovation supports the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): see infographic

The Commission works together with the Belmont Forum on international research cooperation.


31 JANUARY 2022
BiodivERsA brochure
(6.8 MB - PDF)

31 AUGUST 2021
Science at the service of biodiversity
(275.99 KB - HTML)

14 JUNE 2021
The EU and IPBES: Science cooperation for biodiversity (Infographic)
(272.1 KB - HTML)

6 OCTOBER 2020
The EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 (Infographic)

20 MAY 2020
Research and innovation key driver of the biodiversity strategy
(271.44 KB - HTML)