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£40 million biodiversity research programme opens for applications

A £40 million grant programme launched to help projects around the world put the power of biodiversity at the forefront of our fight against climate change and poverty.

  • £7 million is now available for research into natural climate solutions
  • UK and international applicants can secure grants of up to £750,000
  • Move is part of the Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate, established with £40 million of Official Development Assistance funding

A £40 million grant programme launched this week (Thursday 25 May 2023) which will help projects around the world put the power of biodiversity at the forefront of our fight against climate change and poverty.

First announced in 2021 at the Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, the Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) was established to bridge research gaps and further understanding on the crucial role biodiversity can play in tackling climate change and poverty in ODA-eligible countries across the world. By fostering collaboration between experts and research disciplines, the GCBC strives to shape decision-making and unlock finance for natural solutions to climate change and poverty.

During its pilot phase, the GCBC funded a range of innovative projects including:

  • Working with local communities to improve environmental and social outcomes for a disused mine site with a negative legacy in the Philippines
  • Developing temperature resilient wild seaweed cultivars in collaboration with indigenous seaweed farming communities in Malaysia
  • Protecting globally important ecosystems and irreplaceable biodiversity and supporting climate resilient food security by mapping plant bioresources in Tropical Important Plant Areas in Guinea and Ethiopia
  • Creating a community-led governance model that integrates strategies for climate resilience, low-carbon and sustainable growth in a Colombian coffee-growing region

With around £7 million available in the first round, successful applicants have the opportunity to secure up to £750,000 through the GCBC’s Official Development Assistance programme to deliver policy-relevant research on how the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can help address climate change and improve livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Applications are open to a diverse range of local and international partners, from non-governmental organisations to academic institutions.

Gideon Henderson, Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser, said:

The launch of this grant programme marks a significant milestone in our fight against the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and poverty.

Through this £40 million initiative, there is a vital opportunity for researchers, organisations, and institutions to harness the power of biodiversity and explore innovative natural solutions to the climate crisis creating a more sustainable future for all.

The establishment and goals of the GCBC will help deliver on our climate and biodiversity commitments, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Global Biodiversity Framework targets, which are inherently intertwined with climate change.

More information, including on eligibility and how to apply, can be found here:

Published 26 May 2023
Last updated 26 May 2023 + show all updates
  1. A quote from Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser has been added.

  2. First published.