The GCBC Research Grant Competition 2 (RGC2) is now officially open for applications!

The GCBC Research Grant Competition 2 (RGC2) is now officially open for applications!

The GCBC Research Grant Competition 2 (RGC2) is now officially open for applications!

The Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) is a UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme that funds research into nature-based solutions to climate change and poverty reduction.

We are pleased to announce the official launch of the GCBC second Research Grant Competition (RGC2)!

Theme – Unlocking Nature: Driving innovation in how biodiversity can support climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods through practice and governance

For this call, we are looking for project concepts with a total budget between £100k and £1m (GBP) and a duration of 12 – 36 months, commencing from November 1, 2024. There is scope for different sizes (£100k-£250k; £250k-£500k; £500-£750k; £750-£1m) depending on the type or nature of the research to be funded. This will range from the smaller desk-based and locally focused projects to larger initiatives with research replicated in different localities/ countries and upscaling/ replicating proven solutions in an innovative approach.

GCBC invites project concept submissions that focus their research at the intersection of the GCBC’s three focus areas:

  • Climate change
  • Livelihoods and poverty alleviation
  • Biodiversity

The call will fund a portfolio of projects in ODA-eligible countries in the programme’s three focus regions (Latin America and the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa), including Small Island Developing States (SIDS); which address the evidence gaps and from which the learning, solutions, tools, and methodology can be upscaled and replicated in other regions or countries.

We are looking for submissions that include novel and innovative approaches and project proposals relevant to the overarching theme and related sub-themes. View the Theme Paper

Throughout the application period, potential applicants are invited to join our informative webinars.

Register here for our next webinar

Applications are now officially open! The closing date for receipt of applications for Stage 1 is 17:00hrs GMT on March 17th, 2024.

Apply Now

Related resources:

Theme paper: This paper sets out the rationale and background for the theme of the second GCBC Research Grant Competition (RGC2) and the sub-themes where there are opportunities for interventions, that can make a difference in applying a systems approach. View the Theme Paper

Research strategy: This Research Strategy sets out the vision through the theory of change and ambition for a systems approach (Section 2) for the GCBC programme to ensure that new scientific evidence, knowledge and partnerships developed support the poor directly or indirectly, with improved livelihoods and resilience to climate change, while sustainably managing and using biodiversity. View the Research Strategy

RGC2 Stage 1 – ITA Overview: Download here

Project Concept Note Form (offline copy): Download here

GCBC Privacy Policy: Download here

RGC2 List of Eligible Countries: Download here

Webinar resources:

Webinar 1: Introducing the RGC2 theme (January 22, 29)

Download the webinar recording here

Download the slide deck here

Webinar 2: Walkthrough the RGC2 concept note, application process, & e-platform (February 5)

Download the webinar recording here

Download the slide deck here








Grant announcement: Unlocking the potential of nature to deliver climate solutions and improve livelihoods

The Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) – a UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme that funds research into nature-based solutions to climate change and poverty reduction announced its first round of successful grant applicants today. This first round of grant calls closed in July 2023 and 13 successful applicants were selected from a total of 155.

According to the World Economic Forum, nearly half of the global gross domestic product depends on nature, and yet biodiversity is disappearing quicker than at any time throughout history. A 2019 IPBES report found that around 1 million plant and animal species are currently threatened with extinction. Biodiversity also plays an important role in generating and contributing to local livelihoods; rural and indigenous people and local communities are particularly dependent on nature for their livelihoods. The conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity, therefore, has tremendous potential to regulate the environment, contribute to improved livelihoods, and ensure a more habitable planet for current and future generations.

This new research and development grant portfolio has a £9.3 million budget allocated to 13 organizations across 16 countries. Through this first round of grant awards, the GCBC expects to research the evidence gaps related to 1) key pressures causing serious negative impacts to livelihoods, nature and climate; 2) enablers of change (both incremental and systemic) contributing to the implementation of evidence-based policy and decision-making by policymakers, investors and practitioners, to strengthen the science-policy-practice interface and adoption of solutions; 3) solutions and interventions – through science, nature and knowledge combined by identifying what works, where, why and for whom; and 4) the importance of systems approaches in tackling complex problems and the need to integrate appropriate solutions to achieve lasting transformative change across different sectors and regions.

“We are very excited to announce the first round of grant award recipients through the Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) in partnership with RBG Kew and DAI Global UK. This is a significant milestone and the first step towards delivering climate solutions for vulnerable populations by working in partnership with organizations across the Global South to harness nature’s potential to enhance climate resilience and improve livelihoods,” Professor Gideon Henderson, Chief Scientific Adviser, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

 “We are delighted to work in partnership with Defra and DAI Global UK to bring together an international network of research institutions and experts, with the aim of fostering new inter- and intra-disciplinary partnerships. At Kew, we know how vital the potential of nature-based solutions are in improving the livelihoods of marginalized and vulnerable populations. In our role as Strategic Science Lead and with these collaborations sharing knowledge and best practice, we hope to deliver the evidence needed to inform policy and interventions that sustainably conserve and use biodiversity for climate resilience and poverty reduction,” Prof. Monique Simmonds OBE, Deputy Director Science – Partnerships, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

“We welcome the opportunity, working with Defra and Kew, in our role as Fund Management Lead to support the delivery of the different portfolios of research projects funded to meet the ambition of the GCBC programme. This will involve ensuring that the design and implementation of all projects delivers the key outcomes for climate solutions and improved livelihoods through regular monitoring and learning,” Kelmend Kavaja, Team Leader, DAI.

Through this first round of research grants, the GCBC will work in partnership with scientists, academics, and research institutions on nature-based solutions related to the biodiversity-climate-livelihoods nexus that can improve climate mitigation and adaptation, reduce biodiversity loss and climate migration, and protect the most vulnerable, especially those across the Global South, who are impacted by climate change the most.

Find the first round of successful grantees below:

The University of Oxford

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

University of Durham

University of Birmingham

Nature Kenya

Bangor University

International Centre for Research in Agroforestry

Birdlife International

International Institute for Environment and Development

International Potato Center

Corporación de Investigación y Acción social y económica (CIASE)

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)


About GCBC

The Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) is a UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) research and development programme that funds research to unlock the potential of nature to provide climate solutions and improve livelihoods.

By working in partnership with scientists, academics, and research institutions in the Global South, we seek to develop scalable approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity that delivers resilience to climate change and improves the livelihoods of the poor.

The GCBC is funded by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs working in partnership with DAI Global as the Fund Manager Lead and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as the Strategic Science Lead.



Coming soon in January 2024: GCBC Research Grant Competition 2 Info Webinar series

The Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) is thrilled to introduce its second Research Grant Competition (RGC2), which will be launched in February 2024. This round invites research applications focusing on ‘Unlocking Nature – Driving innovation in how biodiversity can support climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods through practice and governance.’

Leading up to RGC2’s official launch and throughout the application period, potential applicants are invited to join our informative webinars (starting the week of January 22nd, 2024). These webinars will delve into the competition theme, outline eligibility criteria, and provide details on RGC2 including the application and evaluation process.

Register for the first pre-launch webinar HERE .

We particularly encourage potential grant applicants from the Global South to attend. Organisations with a proven track record in addressing poverty reduction, gender equality, and social inclusion within the context of biodiversity conservation are strongly encouraged to apply.

Stay updated on RGC2 and our webinar series by subscribing to the GCBC newsletter on our website by clicking the subscribe button towards the end of this page, or follow us on X at @gcbc_org or on LinkedIn

Cefas: New Initiatives Tackle the Challenges of Making Food Truly Sustainable

This article was originally published on on 9th November 2023

A new paper published today sets out a vision for incorporating the fundamentals of sustainability into the design of entire food systems. The paper, Operationalising One Health for Food Systems, published in the journal One Earth, describes the challenges of producing food that is safe, nutritious, economically viable, equitable and environmentally benign across a country’s food system.

The paper argues that the main challenge to sustainable food systems is in dealing with the many hazards associated with the food supply chain, stretching from those that limit supply – like pests, pathogens or chemical contamination – through to the ways that food production drives environmental degradation, including greenhouse gas emissions or fertilisers that damage river biodiversity.

(Image credit: One Earth, Cell Press)

One food wheel diagram.

Hazard control mainly happens inside of individual food sectors like maize crops, beef husbandry or prawn aquaculture, with little attention to how these sectors link and to how the hazards might spread between the sectors. Assessing each hazard individually is also problematic because it will not give the whole picture on their combined impacts on food supply or the environment. Crucially, we also lack the methods to look across all hazards and food sectors, to make informed decisions on which to prioritise.

The answer to this, according to the authors, lies in applying One Health principles to the whole food system. One Health is a concept that aims to optimise the health of humans, animals, plants and ecosystems, with each being equally important. Our paper proposes a ‘One Food’ approach where all food sectors are considered together, incorporating all hazards and the links between them.

The paper is an initiative of the One Food programme, a collaboration between the UK and South African governments, with partners from academia, intergovernmental organisations, industry and NGOs. The programme is developing a food risk tool that combines hazards across food sectors to identify and prioritise intervention strategies. It also examines the policy changes that will be needed to allow a food systems approach to be achieved and how stakeholders can take the movement forward.

Here at Cefas we understand well how land and sea are connected and that the food we produce must balance safety and adequate supply against environmental protection. We are delighted to bring together colleagues from across the food spectrum.

Neil Hornby, Chief Executive of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Programme Lead)

This paper sets out our ambition for a future where animal and plant health experts work alongside environmental and social specialists to solve pressing food problems.

Ian Brown, Director of Scientific Services at the UK Animal and Plant Health Agency, the UK programme co-leads

The topic is discussed in the first of the new Cefas Unchatted Waters podcast series, where Cefas’ Chief Scientist, Professor Grant Stentiford and the One Food lead Dr Julie Bremner consider how these principles can be applied to produce safe and sustainable seafood. The programme will present its work in the 2nd One Food Community Forum on the 28th of November 2023 which is open for registrations currently on the One Food Community website. The One Food programme is funded by the Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC) which is a UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) research and development programme that funds research into natural solutions to climate change and poverty.

Kew Gardens: State of the World’s Plants and Fungi Symposium programme

Tackling the nature emergency: Evidence, gaps and priorities

In conjunction with the publication of a groundbreaking report, scientists, policymakers, businesses, NGOs, the public and media will come together for the fifth international State of the World’s Symposium.

Plants and fungi are the building blocks of our planet, with the potential to solve some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. But the vital resources and services they provide depend on diverse, healthy ecosystems. The future of these ecosystems, and life as we know it, hinges on the decisions we make today.

In October 2023 we will be publishing, in collaboration with international researchers, the fifth in our series of State of the World’s Plants and Fungi reports. The report takes a deep dive into our current knowledge on plant and fungal diversity and distribution – what we know, what we don’t know and where we need to focus our efforts.

This three-day hybrid symposium brings together experts to discuss findings presented in the report and to identify actions for understanding and protecting the world’s plant and fungal diversity. The discussions will be used to create a declaration containing a shared agreement and action plan for where scientific institutions aim to focus their collecting and research efforts to achieve the targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.


Date and time: 11 to 13 October 2023, daily timings vary

Location: Kew Gardens and online (hybrid event)

Regional Climate Weeks

In the lead-up to the first global stocktake, that will be concluded at COP28 in UAE in December of this year, the Regional Climate Weeks (RCWs) are taking place throughout the world offer a forum for policymakers, practitioners, businesses, and civil society to engage in discussions about climate solutions. The RCWs rally diverse stakeholders from the public and private sectors around a shared mission to combat climate change.

Annually, RCWs are conducted in four regions: Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Northern Africa. They encompass a series of events that offer a grassroots forum for the exchange of knowledge and best practices within the region on crucial topics such as the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Global Climate Action (GCA).

Dates and Locations