The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has secured a £27.8 million National Capability funding award.
The money from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) – worth £5.7 million annually for five years – will fund a programme of research that is designed to deliver new integrated understanding of the environment.
The programme, UK-SCAPE (UK Status Change and Projections of the Environment), will help tackle significant challenges caused by mounting pressures on land use, air and soil quality, water and food security, and biodiversity.
Professor Richard Shore, chair of CEH’s programme board for UK-SCAPE, said: “To provide effective solutions to these problems, we need to see a paradigm shift that moves the current focus from isolated issues on single sites towards a holistic, integrated approach looking at the wider landscape. This will provide multiple benefits for researchers, the economy, the environment and people.”
CEH will collect and integrate national scale datasets, enabling researchers to answer high-level questions around the status and trends of environmental resources, such as:
- Land: How do the main pressures driving land use change interact, historically and into the future?
- Biodiversity: What are the causes of loss and increase in biodiversity, and what is the impact on ecosystems?
- Soil: How do multiple pressures interact to change soil condition and function?
- Air: What drives the fluxes of pollutants and greenhouse gases?
- Water: What are the environmental determinants of water flows and soil moisture?
National Capability funding enables UK scientists to deliver world-leading environmental science, meet national strategic needs and respond to emergencies. The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology plays a leading role in managing and delivering this capability for the UK, carrying out environmental monitoring, experiments and modelling for the benefit of the scientific community, governments, businesses and the general public.
CEH is planning an engagement event in London on December 5 which will inform UK scientists about UK-SCAPE. Further details, including venue, will be announced shortly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in the event.