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Kew becomes strategic science lead for new Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has signed a memorandum of understanding appointing it as strategic science lead for a new Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate.

Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will establish a global network of research institutions and experts to tackle critical research gaps in how the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can deliver climate adaptation, mitigation and improve livelihoods.

GCBC will help ensure that future decision-making is driven by and grounded in scientific evidence, articulating the problem, identifying solutions, tracking progress and supporting the delivery of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) targets.

As the Strategic Science Lead for GCBC, RBG Kew is developing a Research Strategy for the programme which entails identifying themes and priorities to inform the grant calls for research applications from 2023 to 2025, which will be managed on behalf of Defra by DAI International.

RBG Kew will not be involved in assessing grant applications or allocating project funding, but will be gathering insights, data and learnings from funded projects to inform future research and policy.

RBG Kew will be supporting the aim to identify truly inter- and trans-disciplinary research, directly addressing barriers to change, and breaking down environmental and social research siloes. The approach will incorporate engagement from developing countries, involving Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It will also seek to identify examples of good practice that can be scaled up and replicated elsewhere, as well as encouraging new and innovative approaches to yield novel data and research outputs.

On signing the MOU at Kew Gardens, Prof Alexandre Antonelli, director of science, RBG Kew says: ‘We are delighted to be entrusted with the role of Strategic Science lead on this exciting new initiative from the UK Government through Defra. Nature-based solutions could provide up to a third of cost-effective climate change mitigation needed by 2030, whilst also delivering tangible benefits to people, particularly in poor and marginalized communities around the world. Prioritizing scientific research that will help us to tackle the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, which are often the same key drivers of climate change, is crucial and timely. We welcome the GCBC initiative, and are pleased to be able to leverage our expertise to support Defra.’

Prof. Gideon Henderson, Defra scientific adviser, UK Government, says: ‘We are very excited to be working with RBG Kew on this new Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate. The approach we are taking aligns with the Government’s objectives for International Climate Finance; to help mitigate climate change and support people in developing countries to build resilience to climate impacts. Nature has a key role to play in meeting this ambition. Natural systems are on the front-line in the fight against climate change, both because they are impacted by rising temperatures and because they provide us with vital tools to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.’

More information about GCBC can be found at this website: gcbc.org.uk which will be live soon.

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