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Call: Restoration of natural wetlands, peatlands and floodplains as a strategy for fast mitigation benefits; pathways, trade-offs and co-benefits

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Programme
Acronym HE-CL5-D1
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality"

Europe has been at the forefront of climate science and should retain its leadership position to support EU policies as well as international efforts for a global uptake of climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including biodiversity objectives. Advancing climate science and further broadening and deepening the knowledge base is essential to inform the societal transition towards a climate neutral and climate resilient society by 2050, as well as towards a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030. It will involve research that furthers our understanding of past, present and expected future changes in climate and its implications on ecosystems and society, closing knowledge gaps, and develops the tools that support policy coherence and the implementation of effective mitigation and adaptation solutions. Due to the inherent international character of this subject, international collaboration is encouraged for topics under this destination.

The activities implemented under this section will enable the transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy through improving the knowledge of the Earth system and the ability to predict and project its changes under different natural and socio-economic drivers, including a better understanding of society’s response and behavioural changes, and allowing a better estimation of the impacts of climate change and the design and evaluation of solutions and pathways for climate change mitigation and adaptation and related social transformation.

This Destination contributes directly to the Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientation C ”Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems” and the impact area “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

In line with the Strategic Plan, the overall expected impact of this Destination is to contribute to the “Transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy enabled through advanced climate science, pathways and responses to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and behavioural transformations”, notably through:

  1. Advancing knowledge and providing solutions in the any of following areas: Earth system science; pathways to climate neutrality; climate change adaptation including climate services; social science for climate action; and better understanding of climate-ecosystems interactions.
  2. Contributing substantially to key international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the European Environment Agency (e.g. European environment state and outlook reports, SOER).
  3. Strengthening the European Research Area on climate change.
  4. Increasing the transparency, robustness, trustworthiness and practical usability of the knowledge base on climate change for use by policy makers, practitioners, other stakeholders and citizens.

Coordination and synergies between activities supported under Destination 1, as well as in other Destinations and Clusters, and in particular complementarities with Cluster 4 and Cluster 6 should be taken into account by planning for adequate resources for co-ordination and clustering activities. Following a systemic approach, Destination 1 concentrates on activities related to climate science and modelling, whereas Cluster 6 supports R&I in the areas covered by Cluster 6, notably on the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

Link Link to Programme
Call
Restoration of natural wetlands, peatlands and floodplains as a strategy for fast mitigation benefits; pathways, trade-offs and co-benefits
Description of call
"Restoration of natural wetlands, peatlands and floodplains as a strategy for fast mitigation benefits; pathways, trade-offs and co-benefits"

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Support the EU Nature Restoration Plan of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
  • Improved assessment of the added value of wetland, peatland and floodplain restoration approaches under different scenarios and monitor their benefits and trade-offs in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, a wide range of ecosystem services and biodiversity.
  • Improve the knowledge base on the status of European wetlands beyond the current state of the art on extent, location, condition, spatio-temporal trends, type of management and pressures (including climate change), as well as restoration potential to understand their capacity as carbon sinks or GHG sources to support climate mitigation and adaptation plans/solutions.
  • Introduction of the quantified greenhouse gas abatement potential of wetland restoration in models and scenarios, for climate and biodiversity.
  • Analyse the degree to which these approaches related to wetlands are affected by different scenarios of climate change (i.e. effectivity under global warming of 2°C and higher).
  • Support the implementation of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation with respect to the inclusion of wetland restoration activities by developing robust and transparent methodologies, data provision and analysis.
  • Contribute to the evidence on ecosystem services provided by restored wetlands and their long-term management as an investment with significant net societal benefits.
  • Contribute to scientific assessments such as the IPCC, IPBES and International Resource Panel reports.

Scope:

Projects are expected to assess the current extent and state of European wetlands, their current and potential GHG profile (with or without protection/restoration measures) and their medium to long-term mitigation capacity through restoration or other measures. As a minimum, the assessment should take into account key greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O), the carbon value of services (such as production) in the baseline (e.g., food production) and restoration scenarios (e.g., paludiculture or non-productive uses, like agritourism) and estimate the abatement cost for different policy-relevant time periods. Assessments should therefore look at assessing any trade-offs of restoring wetlands primarily for climate and biodiversity benefits with the delivery of their wide range of other services, and on methods to avoid, and if not possible, to mitigate them.

Projects are expected to develop or identify workable tools and approaches for the sound estimation of GHG performance as well as impacts on biodiversity and a wide range of ecosystem services. The GHG emission during restoration (e.g. due to disturbance of soils, dredging of sediments, methane from rewetting) should be considered, including trade-offs and benefits of passive restoration and following succession of water bodies. The evidence collected may contribute to the related policies, like LULUCF, and the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy commitments.

Projects are expected to go beyond the state-of-the-art of the different restoration and management techniques and knowledge and provide guides and recommendations about the scaling up of the solutions. In particular, the projects should capitalise on the evidence provided by LIFE, Horizon 2020 and ERDF projects addressing wetland, floodplains and peatland restoration and protection.

Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected 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 provide for a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Administration & Governance, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 6.00 and 7.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 20.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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