Improve Understanding of the Economics of Biodiversity Call

Closing Date: 07/01/2022

Support for interdisciplinary research projects within the environmental, economic and social sciences to advance research in the economics of biodiversity.

The new Improve Understanding of the Economics of Biodiversity Call is jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). A portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects is sought across the environmental, economic and social sciences to advance research in the economics of biodiversity.

This opportunity is supported under the Economics of Biodiversity programme, which aims to inform decision-making by addressing critical gaps in current understanding of the economic values, benefits and costs that society associates with and derives from biodiversity. Biodiversity comprises all living components in ecosystems and is a core element of the natural world.

The programme will explore how economies are embedded in nature and how nature and biodiversity are integrated into economic models and decision-making processes by:

  • Examining how multiple pluralistic values associated with biodiversity are captured, derived, applied and utilised.
  • Investigating the ways in which socioeconomic and ecological systems are interlinked or coupled, and how this can help build and maintain resilience of these systems in response to increasing disturbances.
  • Exploring how different evidence-based biodiversity valuation methods (including those beyond monetary valuations) can be embedded within mainstream local and national decision making in the UK, while also reflecting upon the needs of future generations and meeting global biodiversity and development targets.

Projects will generate new and harness existing data and evidence. They will work with stakeholders to inform the types of interventions required to maintain, enhance and optimise biodiversity and its value in supporting human activities in highly interconnected socioeconomic and ecological systems.

Projects must address at least one of the following three research themes:

  • Theme one: biodiversity values in decision making.
  • Theme two: biodiversity, natural capital and resilience.
  • Theme three: management tools for decision-makers.

Proposals must be interdisciplinary by exploring and capitalising on different disciplines to inform research and catalyse changes in real-word decision-making. There must be demonstrable awareness of how biodiversity and ecosystems connect to wider societal factors, for example:

  • Achieving net zero carbon emissions.
  • Adapting to a changing climate.
  • Improved human health and wellbeing.
  • Creating jobs.
  • Social cohesion.
  • ‘Levelling up’ opportunities across society.

The interdisciplinary approach must bring together different disciplines represented by the NERC and ESRC remits. (Proposals that only involve collaboration between researchers within the remit of a single research council will not receive funding.)

Proposed research should emphasise relevance to integrating economics of biodiversity in decision-making in the UK, in the context of meeting wider global biodiversity targets and sustainable development goals. Proposals can focus on the economics of biodiversity in the context of terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats.

Funding body Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Maximum value £800,000
Reference ID S22993
Category Economic and Social Research
Natural Environment

Fund or call Fund