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Call: Social science for land-use strategies in the context of climate change and biodiversity challenges

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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.

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Call
Social science for land-use strategies in the context of climate change and biodiversity challenges
Description of call
"Social science for land-use strategies in the context of climate change and biodiversity challenges"

Expected Outcome

  • A characterisation of future expected land use patterns consistent with long-term objectives (especially on climate, biodiversity and renewable energy) and its comparison with the current situation and trends.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the key motivations and drivers (economic, regulatory, legal, cultural, environmental, etc.) behind land-use related decisions in Europe at levels ranging from land owners to public authorities at local, regional and national level, including their relative importance.
  • A better understanding of the awareness of key actors (land owners, managers, local authorities, regulatory agencies) about climate change and biodiversity challenges and their willingness to contribute addressing them, including the adoption of new or different practices consistent with long-term expectations.

Support to climate (mitigation, adaptation) and biodiversity policy design and implementation through economic and behavioural insights allowing the efficient targeting of incentives and engagement of stakeholders in a cost-effective manner, taking into account telecoupling (displacement effects through changes in imports and exports).

Scope:

Actions should aim to gain a realistic understanding of the factors behind land-use decisions and how they can be best oriented towards the efficient and socially responsible pursuit of multiple policy objectives on various scales (from the individual field/farm to region to national to continental scale). They should develop a toolbox of instruments and approaches deployable at different levels consistent with long-term goals and strategies considering, inter alia:

  • The need for land to provide net sequestration and biomass flows consistent with the demands of various mitigation pathways, on different timescales.
  • The continued need for land to provide food, feed and raw materials under increasing climate change and other pressures and needs (e.g., water availability, climate change resilience).
  • The potential for demand-side measures that can contribute to long-term objectives (such as sustainable and healthy dietary change) and how they can be deployed.
  • The crucial need for halting and, if possible, reversing biodiversity loss in Europe and globally.
  • The socioeconomic dynamics, behavioural patterns and inertia related to land ownership, management and policies.
  • The considerable diversity of land use patterns, approaches and biogeographic conditions in Europe, including land-related resources such as water.
  • The need to make the instruments and approaches, including collective learning and negotiation processes at local and landscape scale, widely and practically available to the key actors, to enable sustainable change.
  • The need to avoid rebound (detrimental displacement effects).

Actions should focus on one or more of the following issues:

  1. Development of realistic scenarios and workable models for optimising the contribution of land to climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity objectives, where possible integrating with Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), consistent with expectations while reducing conflicts, exploiting synergies and managing risks (agroforestry can be one example of a system that allows higher productivity, more resilience and more biodiversity at the same time).
  2. Economic and behavioural insights into land use related decisions, barriers to change, efficient design of incentives. This should explore the relative merits of instruments (regulatory, market-based, education, soft policy).
  3. Explore a range of delivery mechanisms that could best incentivise the upscaling of the required changes under real-life situations in multiple settings (countries, biogeographical regions).
  4. Develop workable models for effective and efficient monitoring and incentivising public goods benefits (such as emissions reductions, biodiversity protection and water services).
  5. Contribute to the better quantification of land-related greenhouse gas flux trajectories for integrated assessment models on relevant scales (including displacement effects).

Participation of and co-creation with relevant societal stakeholders should be part of the action, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and the contribution from social sciences and humanities and other relevant disciplines.

Synergies should be ensured with topics related to land-use, biodiversity and ecosystems in Cluster 5 and in other Clusters, with the implementation of the Mission on Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation, as well as with other relevant actions, programmes and initiatives.

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

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

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Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Demographic Change, Migration, Administration & Governance, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Rural & Peripheral Development, Regional Development & Regional Planning
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.
Call opens 12.10.2021
Call closes 10.02.2022
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

  • 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
This call is subject of a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, applicants will be requested to submit only an outline application.

Page limit - part B: 45 pages - The limit for a first-stage application is 10 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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