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Impact of light and noise pollution on biodiversity
|Funding Program||Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 1: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services|
|Call budget||€ 7,000,000.00|
|Estimated EU contribution per project||€ 3,500,000.00|
|Link to the call||ec.europa.eu|
|Link to the submission||ec.europa.eu|
There is a need to better understand the overall impact of these pollution sources of emerging concern on biodiversity, in particular how the conservation status of species and habitats is affected, mechanisms at stake and how to monitor and mitigate adverse effects.
Light pollution is the alteration of natural lighting levels due to artificial light at night. It has been rapidly increasing, with the illumination level in developed countries increasing tenfold over the last 50 years. From 2012 to 2016, Earth’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2.2% per year. Artificial light at night is a powerful environmental stressor which alters the biological rhythms of living organisms (fauna and flora), modifies species assemblages (e.g. fish in ports) and changes ecosystems at large. There is a broad scientific consensus that it poses a threat to biodiversity and this has led to growing concerns in recent years. Light pollution is specifically known to cause habitat fragmentation, impairing physiology and behaviour in fauna. It is notably thought to be a major factor in the gradual disappearance of insect and bird populations worldwide. Its effects seem to intensify with the use of LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) including outside cities. Another domain of light pollution is the horizontally polarised light reflection of certain artificial surfaces (e.g. roads and photovoltaic solar panels), posing significant threat to polarotactic insects that get trapped in search for water bodies.
Noise is an environmental factor which is also given growing attention. According to IPBES, noise’s effects on nature are increasingly observed. Expansion of human population, transport networks and extraction have a range of impacts upon species, depending on auditory capacities and noise wavelengths. Underwater noises that are due not only to shipping but also to pile drivers, sonars, seismic testing or windfarms are significant marine pollutants. Noise can be particularly problematic for marine organisms. It has been shown for instance that it may modify behaviour and physiology of invertebrates and it is suspected to increase infection risks and alter spawning behaviour of affected species. It is suspected, for instance, to increase infection risks and spawning behaviour of affected species. Evidence of the impact of noise pollution on ecosystems is also growing, like the reduction of the presence of songbirds in cities.
EU policies integrate the need to protect biodiversity from light and noise in a limited extent, in particular:
Light and noise pollution in general is addressed in a number of EU policies and directives: the Environmental Noise Directive, the Outdoor Noise Directive, the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (85/337/EEC). Reducing noise pollution is among the objectives of the EU Action Plan: 'Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil'. Noise and light are defined as pollutants in Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, (‘pollutant’ means a substance, vibration, heat, noise, light or other contaminant present in air, water or land which may be harmful to human health or the environment, which may result in damage to material property, or which may impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment). Light and noise pollution is included in one of the six thematic priority objectives of the 8th Environment Action Programme to 2030 (“pursuing zero-pollution, including in relation to harmful chemicals, in order to achieve a toxic-free environment, including for air, water, soil as well as in relation to light and noise pollution, and protecting the health and well-being of people, animals and ecosystems from environment-related risks and negative impacts”).
Targets groups for this topic are notably regulatory bodies, civil society, local and regional decision –makers.
Successful proposals should:
Proposals should address Area A: terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems or Area B: aquatic (including marine) biodiversity and ecosystems. The area (A or B) should be clearly indicated on the application.
Cooperation with projects supported by the mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters’ is expected for Area B. Successful proposals under Area B are expected to strengthen the European contribution to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
Proposals should earmark the necessary resources for cooperation and networking activities. Collaboration with the European partnership on biodiversity Biodiversa+ should be explored, as needed.
This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines. Participatory approaches, such as citizen science, could be appropriate modes of research for this action.
International cooperation is encouraged.
In line with the European Green Deal and in particular with the objectives of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, projects will contribute to understand and address direct drivers of biodiversity decline in both terrestrial and aquatic environments.
Project results are expected to contribute to all following expected outcomes:
|Regions / countries for funding||EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)|
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
|eligible entities||EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)|
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
|other eligibility criteria|
To ensure a balanced portfolio, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to one project within the area A (terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems) that is the highest ranked, and one project highest ranked within the area B (aquatic (including marine) biodiversity and ecosystems), provided that the applications attain all thresholds. Proposals clearly indicate the area they are applying to.
Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Soil quality,
Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management
|Relevance for EU Macro-Region||EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region|
|UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)|
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.
|Call documents|| HE-Work Programme 2023-2024, Cluster 6, Destination 1 (kB)
|Contact||National Contact Points for Horizon Europe |
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