Conservation and protection of carbon-rich and biodiversity-rich forest ecosystems

Grant Name
Conservation and protection of carbon-rich and biodiversity-rich forest ecosystems
Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
European Commission
Research Field
Forest adaptation to climate change
Carbon sequestration in forest (mitigation)
Digital Agenda
Climatic research
Forest ecosystem services
International Cooperation
Grant Size

General conditions

1. Admissibility conditions: described in Annex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes

Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System

2. Eligible countries: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes

A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide.

3. Other eligibility conditions: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes

The following additional eligibility criteria apply: the proposals must apply the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to this work programme part.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate as member of the consortium selected for funding.

4. Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes

5. Evaluation and award:

  • Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes

  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes and the Online Manual

  • Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes

6. Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes

Specific conditions

7. Specific conditions: described in the [specific topic of the Work Programme]


Call documents:

Standard application form — call-specific application form is available in the Submission System

Standard application form (HE RIA, IA)

Standard evaluation form — will be used with the necessary adaptations

Standard evaluation form (HE RIA, IA)


HE General MGA v1.0

Additional documents:

HE Main Work Programme 2023–2024 – 1. General Introduction

HE Main Work Programme 2023–2024 – 9. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

HE Main Work Programme 2023–2024 – 13. General Annexes

HE Programme Guide

HE Framework Programme and Rules for Participation Regulation 2021/695

HE Specific Programme Decision 2021/764

EU Financial Regulation

Rules for Legal Entity Validation, LEAR Appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment

EU Grants AGA — Annotated Model Grant Agreement

Funding & Tenders Portal Online Manual

Funding & Tenders Portal Terms and Conditions

Funding & Tenders Portal Privacy Statement

Grant Number

In line with the EU biodiversity and climate objectives, successful proposals will support the protection of biodiversity-rich forest ecosystems, at the species’ distribution rear edges and margins that are at high risk of collapse in light of a rapidly changing climate.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:

  • Improved knowledge on the cross-impacts between biodiversity and climate change: drivers of biodiversity loss and the interrelation with forest-based adaptation and mitigation needs; impacts of climate change on forest biodiversity and forest species migration; and links between forest species diversity and forest resilience to climate change.
  • Identification of win-win management practices (including non-intervention, climate-smart forestry) and development and implementation of ecosystem protection and restoration methods and tools for resilient, carbon rich and biodiversity supportive forests.
  • Better understanding of the drivers and barriers for natural co-migration of forest communities and development of approaches and guidelines to foster co-migration.
  • Improved tools and indices for the joint monitoring of biodiversity and climate aspects on forests.
  • Empirical analysis of the current forest management and conservation practices in European forests of high ecological value, including governance (regulations and their impact), management responses to climate change and an assessment of drivers that determine management on the ground.
  • Strict protection of primary and old-growth forest in Europe by 2030.


Biodiversity-rich forest ecosystems, in particular at the species’ distribution edges, are at a high risk in light of a rapidly changing climate. When not being in their optimal climate conditions, they are more fragile to biotic and abiotic damages and do not provide ecosystem services in an optimal manner.

While for tree species assisted migration and assisted gene flow is considered as a possibly solution in actively managed forests, the dependent forest communities (e.g., plants, fungi, insects, soil microorganisms etc.) might fail to follow the speed of habitat shifts what in turn may result in a loss of biodiversity. In addition, migration failure of mutualistic species (fungi, mycorrhiza) can jeopardize the success of tree migration.

Protected areas without the option for assisted migration, will particularly depend on the larger landscape context for community migration and adaptation, as many of them have not been designed to account for the long-term and large-scale dynamics.

Proposals will:

  • Set up case studies in European forests or tropical forests; particularly targeting forests of high ecological value, such as primary and old-growth forests, Mediterranean forests, peat swamp forests or mangroves.
  • Improve existing or develop new predictive models of biodiversity changes, advance the understanding of species connection with the forest habitat, and analyse to what extent species can survive in a changed and fragmented habitat with a view to establishing protected forest networks.
  • Analyse directions of assisted tree migration to maximize dynamic gene conservation (as form of ex situ conservation)
  • Assess the risk for biodiversity loss in protected areas and develop protection strategies that consider the larger landscape and regional context to allow for natural species and community migration.
  • Develop approaches and guidelines for forest managers and conservationists in a context of forest ecosystem migration and map scenarios of potential forest ecosystem migration routes.
  • Connect with relevant institutions at regional, national and EU-level as well as relevant stakeholders to regularly disseminate the research results.
  • Improve monitoring techniques, including remote-sensing and field-data methods integrating technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics or blockchain, to better assess biodiversity and climate aspects of forests.

Due to the scope of this topic, international cooperation is strongly encouraged.

The project must implement the multi-actor approach and ensure an adequate involvement of the primary production sector and the wider forest-based value chain.

JRC will contribute with dataset on forest tree species distribution and support the development of satellite monitoring of forest metrics.

Funding resources

Purdue Grant Writing Lab: Introduction to Grant Writing Open Link
University of Wisconsin Writing Center: Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal Open Link

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