Preserving Biodiversity

Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity

Biodiversity and ecosystems provide us with food, health and medicines, materials, recreation, and wellbeing. They filter our air and water, help keep the climate in balance, convert waste back into resources, pollinate and fertilise crops and much more. In 2020, the EU launched its new Biodiversity Strategy aiming to make 30% of Europe protected areas, and restore degraded ecosystems on land and at sea across the whole of Europe. One key aspect to succeed with this ambition is for citizens to gain increased knowledge on the preservation and restoration of biodiversity.   

Specific description of action 

This social experiment stream will set up so-called study circles, within which adult participants will explore cultural values linked to biodiversity, biodiversity loss and potential solutions in rural and urban areas. It will place local communities and the general public at the forefront of solutions to achieve the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy. The stream will especially support in improving knowledge, education and skills of the participants. 

The study circles will be facilitated by a civil society mentor with professional experience in group dynamics, stakeholder engagement or related fields, to delve into the importance of biodiversity in everyday life; the different roles of biodiversity and ecosystem services within communities and challenges faced; their view on the Green Deal ambitions related to biodiversity, and how biodiversity can aid social goals. 

Social sciences and humanities background 

The study circles are an innovative form of adult education, originating in Sweden, that open up space for cooperative learning about different concepts, skills and values. Study circles help to craft shared solutions and understanding of complex challenges by fostering creativity and a sense of community around a topic of mutual interest, as well as transmitting knowledge to participants’ networks of family, colleagues, friends, amongst local decision-makers, and the wider community.

This stream will build on experiences from several projects (AgriGo4Cities, ESMERALDA, ECOVINEGOALS, SMART_MR) working with diverse groups of stakeholders, including vulnerable groups, using participatory approaches.


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For further details please contact co-leads Professor Chris Foulds (chris.foulds@aru.ac.uk) and Professor Rosie Robison (rosie.robison@aru.ac.uk).

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036640. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SHARED GREEN DEAL HAS project and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.