Why addressing the issue of biodiversity?First, because the erosion of biodiversity is, along with climate change, a major challenge of our time. Indeed, the current situation is alarming: every 20 minutes, an animal or plant species disappears, representing more than 26 000 species each year. In addition, it is now necessary to address global warming by taking into account the erosion of biodiversity, as these two issues are closely interconnected.
As demonstrated by 11 of the 18 projects supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation (for example INVACOST led by Franck Courchamp, SENSEI led by Christophe Barbraud or SoCa, led by Lydie Lardy), climate change, acting in synergy with the degradation of soils and population growth, accelerates the loss of biodiversity. But the converse is also true, since degraded ecosystems have reduced CO2 assimilation and storage capacities, thus accelerating the processes linked to climate change. As a result, humanity today has the global responsibility to face both these challenges and their interactions.
In addition, the issue of preserving biodiversity is today at the heart of public policies and intergovernmental debates, evidenced by the creation in 2012 of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IPCC of biodiversity.
This decision is also in line with the positioning of the BNP Paribas Group, which has notably committed to the act4nature initiative launched in 2018, for the protection and restoration of biodiversity, as well as the consideration by the media and the public opinion of this subject.
A selective call for projects
The Climate & Biodiversity Initiative call for projects will consist of three stages for the whole of 2019:
The specificities of the call for projects
The BNP Paribas Foundation wanted to involve the Group's employees and entrust them with the pre-selection of applications. For the 2019 edition of this call for projects, 31 BNP Paribas volunteers from 11 entities and 3 different countries will evaluate each application. Recommended for their expert profile on environmental issues, they will be responsible for preselecting around 50 application files, which will then be studied by the Scientific committee of the Foundation. The winners will be selected by the Executive Committee of the Foundation in November 2019.
The Climate & Biodiversity Initiative programSince 2010, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been supporting environmental research on climate change through this program, previously known as the Climate Initiative, with a total budget of 12 million euros.
Since the creation of the program, 324 researchers, professors and engineers have benefited from this action, while 340,000 people have been made aware of environmental issues through conferences, exhibitions and other public events.
Through the different calls for projects taking place every 3 years, 18 research projects have been funded and promoted by the BNP Paribas Foundation. 2019 is the year of the official launch of the 4th call for projects, and the Foundation decided to open it to the field of biodiversity. That's why the program was renamed Climate and Biodiversity Initiative.
"While climate change and biodiversity loss are certainly the two greatest challenges for humankind, this program manages to be up to the task, not only because it supports research projects that will make a difference, but also because the sums and flexibility of these funds allow researchers to work in the best conditions."
this program manages to be up to the task, because the sums and flexibility of these funds allow researchers to work in the best conditions.
Photo Header Araucaria araucana forest Northern Patagonie - THEMES project led by Valérie Daux
©R. Villalba, IANIGLA-CONICET