Horizon-Europe 2020
Funding Agency: European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 101060072
Period: March 20223- February 2027 (48 months)
Lead Partner: Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)
Research Team: 34 partners, from 17 countries: Europe, United Kingdom, and Western Asia.

ACTNOW is a cutting-edge work program that will provide regulators and decision-makers the information and useful tools they need to stop biodiversity loss in coastal and marine areas that are being endangered by climate change. ACTNOW is a research project funded by Horizon Europe programme, and coordinated by Prof. Peck at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). From Future Oceans Lab, Juan Bueno-Pardo and Elena Ojea will be leading the development of biodiversity risk framework which will be focus on the cumulative effect on different hazards. This framework aims to capture how and if potential thresholds, transient dynamics, time lags, and changes in the rate of change influences the risk for biodiversity loss. This novel approach will revolutionize risk assessments and make a significant contribution to this area of study. On the other hand, FOL will coordinate the task to assess the solutions options for the biodiversity and climate crises. This task is being identifying safe operating spaces for simultaneously conserving marine biodiversity and combating climate change in European marine waters and the associated near- and long-term adaptation solutions taking account of trade-offs among sectors, ecosystem services, and marine biodiversity protection.

ACTNOW stands for Advancing understanding of Cumulative Impacts on European marine biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services for human wellbeing. The overall goal of ACTNOW is to advance and apply state-of-the-art tools to deliver concrete scientific support to regulators charged with implementing adaptation and mitigation measures, sustainably expand the blue economy and provide nationally determined contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This initiative develops and applies a systemic Integrated Biodiversity Assessment (IBA) framework to:

  • Co-create regionalized ‘what if’ scenarios of multiple interacting drivers and management actions to forecast impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in European coastal and marine regions;
  • Develop a systemic approach for the integrated impact assessment of coastal and marine ecosystem processes and services, and assessment of the state of coastal and marine ecosystems health, and resilience to cumulative pressures;
  • Understand the combined impacts of different types of pressures or perturbations on coastal and marine biodiversity and ecosystems condition;
  • Increase understanding of the biological mechanisms determining the response of organisms and ecosystems to environmental changes and limiting their adaptation capacity, and the implications for the management of marine areas, habitats and species;
  • Employ state-of-the-art biologging technology and molecular methods, in combination with knowledge on oceanographic processes to understand the effects of agents of change on the ecology and population dynamics through marine food webs;
  • Rationalise and advance strategies for monitoring European populations of marine species at the top of food chains, and have life histories that make them especially susceptible to change;
  • Integrate existing and new biodiversity data and knowledge from multiple origins, including other EU (Horizon 2020 and previous framework Programmes), international and national research projects;
  • Develop technologies, methods and models to quantify and forecast how cumulative anthropogenic perturbations can affect the sustainability, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems against environmental drivers;
  • Enhance awareness and understanding of links between marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human health through capacity building, public outreach and by creating decision-support tools for regulators for the best context-dependent assessment and actions to achieve or restore good environmental status.

As a result, ACTNOW will reveal areas of high biodiversity and climate value, recommend effective conservation actions to be implemented, promote better respect for nature in public and business decision-making, and thus be a world leader in tackling the global biodiversity crisis. The project will strongly contribute to upcoming national, EU-and global level reports, policies and interventions.

You find all the information related to ACTNOW on its official web page too, click here

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CATEGORIES: Projects, Research, Elena Ojea, Juan Bueno