The EU's outermost regions (ORs) and overseas territories (OCTs) are among the richest reservoirs of species and ecosystems in the world, encompassing 5 of the 34 biodiversity "hotspots" of the planet and spanning three different oceans. As elsewhere, these unique ecosystems are often at risk from increased interactions with human activities.
The objective of this ERA-NET action, which brings together 11 research organisations and regional authorities from the tropical and subtropical regions of 5 Member States (France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK), is to improve the collection and sharing of information, identify strategic research priorities, develop common policies, and launch joint research activities among these regions. Providing an effective collaboration mechanism between continental Europe, outlying regions, and international organisations, NET-BIOME will play a key role in ensuring that European research fully meets its responsibilities towards global biodiversity.
Europe: an exceptional source of biodiversity…facing global challenges
Europe's overseas regions host an extraordinary diversity of ecosystems. European marine areas encompass more than 10% of the world's coral reefs, and over 20% of the world's lagoons. The EU has, with French Guyana, one of 15 low-fragmented forests remaining in the world. The Canary Islands host over 12.000 species of plants, birds and species. New Caledonia alone counts as high a number of terrestrial endemic species as the whole of continental Europe.
As elsewhere in the World, Europe's tropical and subtropical regions face growing environmental challenges. Biodiversity is often threatened by a combination of fragmentation and loss of habitat, the introduction of new species, climate change, and increasing interactions between human activities and ecosystems.
A key role for research
Along with the privilege of hosting such exceptional diversity, Europe has unique responsibilities in preserving it. An important part of the world's natural heritage, this biodiversity also represents a key asset for the economic, social and cultural development of these regions. EU research has a crucial role to play in managing such changes
Responding to such concerns, local authorities have funded a number of R&D programmes aiming to reconcile environment conservation and economic development. However, such efforts have often been hindered in the past due to their lack of integration, underfunding, and poor access to research data and facilities.
NET-BIOME: strengthening European and international cooperation on biodiversity
NET-BIOME provides a concrete answer to such challenges. Gathering research institutes from continental EU and outermost areas, as well as regional and local authorities (such as the Regional Council of La Réunion, the project leader, New Caledonia, the Canary Islands, the Azores, the Antilles, and the Cayman Islands), NET-BIOME will provide an effective collaboration mechanism to improve research coordination and develop common activities in response to clearly identified needs.
The project will allow: identification and prioritisation of research areas; better coordination of EU, national, and regional funding; improved access to information; more efficient sharing of research infrastructures; improved socioeconomic valorisation of biodiversity; enhanced training and transregional mobility of researchers. Fully integrated in the ERA, this ERA-NET initiative will also with a strong tie-up with research projects in third countries and international organisations in the field of biodiversity and sustainable development. It will pave the way for a forthcoming joint European programme of transnational research activities on tropical and subtropical diversity.
A cross-cutting, multidisciplinary, multi-region and multi-partner initiative, the NET-BIOME ERA-NET project illustrates how the EU's outermost regions can successfully take the lead in the shaping and coordination of research strategies for the benefit of the whole of Europe.
Patrick Vittet-Philippe | alfa
Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy