We seek to unlock the potential of nature to deliver climate resilience and improve livelihoods.
Although we have just seven years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress is significantly off track and the world is facing a dual climate and biodiversity crisis. With global warming already at 1.1°C and predicted to reach at least 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052, we can expect higher temperatures, drought, and extreme weather events. Additionally, some 25% of plant and animal species are threatened by human actions, with a million species facing extinction (UNFCCC, 2021). Climate change and biodiversity loss make the delivery of the SDGs more difficult and affect the poorest and most vulnerable first and hardest (Dasgupta, 2021). By 2030 climate change and environmental degradation are likely to push a further 100 million people into poverty (World Bank, 2016).
The GCBC helps address these issues by funding research into how the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can help address climate change and improve livelihoods in ODA-eligible countries. The programme was announced at COP26 with £40m of UK International Development funding. It contributes to the UK Government’s commitment to spend £3bn of its £11.6bn of International Climate Finance on nature and biodiversity over the 5 years to March 2026.
Biodiversity has tremendous potential to mitigate climate change and improve people’s livelihoods that are impacted by the warming of our planet. Biodiversity, which includes the full variety of life on earth, can improve carbon storage, air and water filtration, reduce pollution, improve pollination and reduce erosion.
Nearly half of our global gross domestic product depends on nature, and yet biodiversity is disappearing quicker than at any time throughout history. Preserving biodiversity can regulate the environment and ensure a habitable planet. The GCBC funds research related to the biodiversity – climate – livelihood nexus that can improve climate mitigation and adaptation, enhance resilience and support livelihoods.
GCBC builds on the UK’s Dasgupta Review and helps countries achieve a nature-positive future by supporting commitments made by the UK government at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference and the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference, as well as supporting delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
What we do
- Fund biodiversity research: through our grant competitions we fund locally-led research to help unlock the potential of biodiversity in tackling climate and improving livelihoods.
- Disseminate research and learning: drawing on our research findings we facilitate open access learning and research through our events, digital channels, and publications.
- Foster cross-disciplinary partnerships: we foster cross-disciplinary networking and collaboration by building capacity, making connections and breaking down silos between sectors.
How we work
- We work across research disciplines, breaking down silos and bringing researchers together.
- We work in partnership with researchers in recipient countries to create new ways of working and new knowledge.
- We value local and traditional knowledge and use it to develop appropriate, scalable solutions to tackle biodiversity loss, climate vulnerability and poverty.
Partners and Governance
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the UK Government department responsible for improving and protecting the environment. The department takes a significant role in delivering the Government’s first international thematic priority – tackling climate change, environmental damage and biodiversity loss – noting the urgency of making progress before 2030. The GCBC is funded by Defra.
DAI is an international development consultancy. Their mission is to make a lasting difference in the world by helping people improve their lives and create a world in which communities and societies become more prosperous, fairer, and better governed, safer, healthier, and environmentally more sustainable. DAI is the GCBC’s Fund Manager.
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s mission is to understand and protect plants and fungi, for the wellbeing of people and the future of all life on Earth. Kew delivers science-based knowledge and solutions to protect biodiversity and use natural resources sustainably, inspires people to protect the natural world, trains experts and influences national and international policy. Kew is the Strategic Science Lead for the GCBC.
Evidence Advisory Group and Independent Evaluator
The GCBC is also supported by:
- an Independent Evaluator which will be responsible for evaluating the GCBC process, performance, and impact.
- an Evidence Advisory Group, comprising experts from a diverse range of backgrounds and geographies to provide independent advice and scrutiny on the design, scope, outputs, and overall strategic direction of the GCBC.