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Belmont Forum: ANR takes action on environmental change

The International Group of Funding Agencies - IGFA, is a global forum which focuses on research into the major challenges associated with global environmental change. In this context the Belmont Forum brings together the senior representatives of the principal funding agencies across the world. The aim of its work is to "deliver the necessary knowledge to mitigate and adapt to harmful environmental changes and extremely dangerous events". ANR has ensured the vice-Chairmanship of the Belmont Forum since 2012.

Promoting scientific knowledge on global environmental change

The knowledge society needs to cope with the environmental changes is based on a global understanding of the system.

This knowledge concerns in particular the interplay between the environmental changes and the transformations of our societies and how to manage the associated problems and risks (protection of life and assets, conceptions and arbitrations between different socio-environmental management options, the transition towards a sustainable economy, etc.).

Launching of international calls for projects on global challenges

In order to meet these challenges, the members of the Belmont Forum jointly define priorities for the collaborative research actions (CRAs). The first CRAs have focused on coastal vulnerability, food security and digital infrastructures. 

The agencies pool their resources by launching joint calls for proposals with the aim of enhancing scientific excellence and international collaboration, interdisciplinarity and the involvement of the stakeholders in defining the research questions and obtaining and disseminating the knowledge in order to best meet the challenges facing us all.

Thus a first call (lien : nc/) was launched in 2012 in collaboration with the members of the G8-HORCs (Heads of the Research Councils of the G8 states). The call united 11 funding countries: South Africa, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA, France, India, Japan, UK and Russia – around the following themes: the vulnerability of coastal zones and the security of fresh water resources.

In this context ANR has co-funded 6 projects involving French teams for a total sum of €2.5 M:

  • ARTISTICC: "Adaptation Research - a Transdisciplinary Transnational Community and Policy Centred Approach"
  • BAND-AID : "Collaborative Research - Bangladesh Delta: Assessment of the Causes of Sea-level Rise Hazards and Integrated Development of Predictive Modelling Towards Mitigation and Adaptation"
  • DELTAS: "Catalysing Action Towards Sustainability of Deltaic Systems with an Integrated Modelling Framework for Risk Assessment"
  • FuturAgua: "Enhancing Adaptation and Resilience to Drought in Dry Tropical Social-Ecological Systems: The Guanacaste, Costa Rica Example"
  • MAGIC: "Multi-Scale Adaptations to Climate Change and their Impacts on Vulnerability in Coastal Areas"
  • TLSCC: "Maintaining Productivity and Incomes in the Tonle Sap Fishery in the Face of Climate Change"

Launched in July 2013 in relation with the European Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (JPI-FACCE), the "Belmont Forum / JPI-FACCE - Food Security and Land Use Change" aims at an international research effort on the understanding of the diversity of the interactions of spatial scales between the change of land use and the dynamics of food security. It involves 14 countries.

In October 2013, the Belmont Forum launched an 18-month international reflection on digital infrastructures and the management of the data necessary for environmental research. This initiative involves more than 100 experts from 11 countries, the European Commission and the International Council for Science, and aims at networking the communities to develop a joint strategy.

In April 2014 ANR once again joined the Belmont Forum to launch a transnational call for proposals on the subjects of Arctic observation and the sustainability of the societal and environmental changes under way in this region, and on biodiversity evolution scenarios.