BioClimSocial - The Social Dimension of Research and Implementation of Nature-based solutions: Utilising Synergies for Biodiversity and Climate

The human-induced biodiversity and climate crisis threatens both ecological and social systems globally, although countries in the Global South currently bear the brunt of these climatic and ecological  impacts. In this context, further exploration and strengthening of synergies between biodiversity and climate actions in the social, scientific and political context, in diverse geo-cultural settings, are crucial in effectively addressing these global challenges. This refers not only to improving and scaling up implementation of synergistic measures such as nature-based solutions (NbS) for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and the restoration of ecosystems, but also in addressing existing knowledge gaps through targeted research.

Upcoming Workshop

BioClimSocial project for fostering applied research focussing on biodiversity and climate Peer exchange workshop -

A 3-day, in-person workshop, inviting NbS experts for an interactive peer-exchange with the focus on the social dimension of NbS through the iterative process of transdisciplinarity.

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The international expert workshop: “Fostering Applied Research on the Synergies between Biodiversity and Climateorganised by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in June 2022, recognised and highlighted the vital role of stakeholders in NbS projects. The experts concluded that genuine stakeholder engagement in both the research and implementation of NbS, based on inclusive, tailored and effective approaches, as well as understanding of the broader social context  (these features are referred to as ‘social dimension’) are highly relevant in gauging the relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of synergistic measures. 

Hence, the BioClimSocial project, initiated by BfN and funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), aims to further investigate  the role of the ‘social dimension’ in delivering meaningful and effective NbS. Among its main activities are the development of an NbS Guideline on how researchers and practitioners may apply best practice in stakeholder participation and properly consider socially-relevant aspects for NbS implementation, as well as strengthening capacities of partner research institutions.

Project Structure

The BioClimSocial project will analyse the social dimension of synergistic climate-biodiversity NbS through two interlinking research packages.

Work Package 1 involves the undertaking of data collection on the features of the social dimension as an integral part of NbS research and implementation. The data set will be drawn from those NbS researchers who are applying transdisciplinary research. A mixed methodology analysis of data via surveys and interviews from this database of global NbS study cases will encompass NbS in four sectors: agroforestry, coastal, mountainous and urban regions. The questionnaire that will form the survey will be formulated in part, by data derived from an academic and grey literature review on NbS case studies that fit the criteria (climate-biodiversity synergy and with a strong focus on the social dimension), where themes will be identified and coded in order to be integrated into the questionnaire.

Furthermore, data derived from Work Package 2 - constituting our four NbS case study partners  will also contribute to the forthcoming survey and in depth interview questions. The resultant data will contribute directly to both the NbS Guideline and a prospective scientific co-authored publication. The four NbS case study partners, along with our selected Project Advisory Board of experts, will be part of the iterative process of knowledge co-production through transdisciplinarity, in order to produce the said outputs of the Guideline and the publication.   

Five NbS Case Studies

  • Agroforestry: N’golo A. Koné  and Kolotchèlèma Simon Silué – Ecologists at the University Félix Houphouet Boigny & University Nangui Abrogoua, African Center of Excellence (CEA-CCBAD);  ​
  • Coastal/Marine: Ernesto Mancero - Marine Biologist at University Nationale de Colombia; ​
  • Coastal: Elias Helo and Johana Herrera Arango – Socio-ecologists with a focus on rights and conservation, from the Observatory of  Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia;​
  • Alpine/Mountainous: Günther Schreder – researcher at the Department for Knowledge and Communication Management, and Nicole Hynek- researcher at the Department for Knowledge and Communication Management at Danube University Krems, Austria; ​
    Florian Schublach - Manager of the Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park;​
  • Urban: Salma Talhouk – expert in Ecosystem Management and Conservationist at the American University of Beirut; Carrine Ghassibe and Nour Bassil - graduate students of Prof. Talhouk at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Work Package 3 and 4 constitute capacity building and project management activities, both of which are designed to support the ongoing and potentially future research activities for our case study partners at the biodiversity-climate interface in practice.   

The project is implemented by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) – University of Bonn. Project staff:

Lisa Biber-Freudenberger
Vanessa Haines-Matos

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