NERC launches program with FAPESP

Agência FAPESP – FAPESP and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), one of the Research Councils UK (RCUK), announced the release of a new collaborative research project on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes in Human-Modified Tropical Forests on June 19 in São Paulo.

The objective of the program, which is expected to last five years, will fund field research projects in Sabah, Malaysia, and Brazil to investigate how anthropogenic changes in tropical forests affect biodiversity, ecosystem services and the climate. Research conducted in Brazil will be financed through a partnership with FAPESP.

The objective of the program in Brazil is to investigate whether the methods of study adopted in Malaysia can be applied to studies on the effects of human-caused changes on the biodiversity and the functioning of forested ecosystems in Brazil, such as the Amazon.

FAPESP will invest up to R$ 5 million over five years for the Brazilian part of the program, which will also receive funding of up to £ 1.6 million  from the NERC.

Researchers from higher learning or research institutions in the state of São Paulo wishing to participate in the first stage of the program may submit joint proposals until August 16, 2012.

Preliminary proposals will be used to select groups of researchers who will be invited to participate in a workshop at Imperial College London on September 27 and then submit their final proposals.

The event celebrating the program’s launch, held at FAPESP headquarters, was attended by the United Kingdom’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington. Scientific cooperation agreements were also signed between FAPESP and Bangor University, the University of Edinburgh and the University of London’s Institute of Education.

“Signing an agreement with the NERC during the week of RIO+20 couldn’t be more appropriate. The results of the scientific research will aid forest management as well as governmental and industrial policymaking on biodiversity conservation and increasing the forest carbon stock, which are key objectives for Brazil in the UN’s REDD Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries,” said FAPESP Scientific Director, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz.

“Collaboration with FAPESP is important not only because it will allow for greater capacity for global understanding and administration of important Brazilian ecosystems, but also because it will allow for cooperative studies to be carried out in Brazil and Malaysia leading to knowledge that is applicable in all tropical regions,” said John Ingram, head of Food Security for the NERC.

FAPESP’s contribution to funding for research in Brazilian tropical forests will be under the purview of the BIOTA and Global Climate Change programs, both of which are maintained by the Foundation. Researchers on the project will have access to the infrastructure created by FAPESP in both the Atlantic Rainforest and in Amazon regions, where the foundation funds studies for the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA).

For more information on the program, go to www.fapesp.br/7046.

 Source and Photo: FAPESP, July 11th, 2012
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