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Climate change

A Global Resource for Plant and Fungal Knowledge Science Strategy 2015-2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 20, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Kew’s scientific vision is to document and understand global plant and fungal diversity and its uses, bringing authoritative expertise to bear on the critical challenges facing humanity today.
In this document we set out three strategic priorities to enable us to curate, use, enhance, explore and share Kew’s global resource, providing robust data and a strong evidence base for our UK and global stakeholders as follows:
1. To document and conduct research into global plant and fungal diversity and its uses for humanity.
2. To curate and provide data-rich evidence from Kew’s unrivalled collections as a global asset for scientific research.
3. To disseminate our scientific knowledge of plants and fungi, maximising its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management.
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60
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Future of Cities: An Overview of the Evidence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 9, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Cities matter to the UK’s future. They are already concentrations of population and employment, and will be home to much of the country’s future population and economic growth. Cities are centres of commercial, cultural, institutional, and socia life. In short, they are both central to the shaping and delivery of national policy objectives, and the locations where broad social, environmental and economic changes play out in practice.
UK cities are highly diverse, each with a distinctive history and its own set of relationships with its neighbours and with central government.
This Foresight project has developed a broad evidence base and consulted local actors to understand challenges and opportunities from those most experienced in the issues affecting UK cities. The single theme which runs throughout this work is providing the best possible evidence for national and city level decision-makers.
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66
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An Arctic Redesign: Recommendations to Rejuvenate the Arctic Council

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, March 14, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Arctic Council was launched in 1996 as an informal, consensual, and cooperative mechanism without either legal personality or operational mandate. It was designed to enhance measures to collectively protect the Arctic’s environment and to explore sustainable development opportunities. The Arctic Council turns 20 years old in 2016, and it has grown larger and more complex - welcoming new observer states such as China and India, initiating two legally binding agreements on search and rescue and oil spill response, and creating a permanent Secretariat. As the increasingly dynamic Arctic environment undergoes vast physical and geopolitical transformations, is the 20-year old Arctic Council’s organizational structure adequate and fit for its purpose? Can the Council remain at the center of Arctic-related activities under its current mandate? Is a substantial rethink of the Council’s governance structure necessary to ensure its productivity and longevity for the next 20 years? This report considers these questions and outlines four possible scenarios and strategies for Arctic Council reform and repair, as well as the implications for the Arctic Council in the future.
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28
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State of the World's Plants

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has released the first annual report on the State of the World’s Plants.
The report provides a baseline assessment of current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats plants face, the policies in place and their effectiveness in dealing with threats. The report has taken a year to produce and involved more than 80 scientists.
This is the first ever global assessment on the state of the world’s plants.
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84
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A US Strategy for Sustainable Energy Security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 4, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The national energy system of the United States is aging and has to be renewed in a dynamic fashion to adapt to the transformative changes in the world of energy. Failure to do so will result in substantial economic disadvantage and national security vulnerabilities, and risk the United States’ position as the leading global power in the twenty-first century. The need for modernization represents a unique opportunity to upgrade the United States to a cutting edge system of energy hardware and software. Moreover, climate change is a severe threat to the United States and an existential one to much of the rest of humanity. Climate change represents an ever growing, direct risk to the American people as extreme weather events wreak havoc, rising sea levels engulf coastal cities, and natural beauties and wildlife habitats degrade.
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Circular economy in Europe — Developing the knowledge base

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.

Europe is bound to the rest of the world through multiple systems that enable two-way flows of materials, financial resources, ideas and innovation. As a result, Europe's economic, ecological and societal resilience is and will continue to be significantly affected by a variety of global and interdependent social, economic, political, environmental and technological trends.

Global material resource use in 2030, for example, is expected to be twice that of 2010 (SERI, 2013), while the most recent United Nations forecast suggests that the global population is likely to exceed 11 billion by the end of the 21st century (UN DESA, 2015). With 7.2 billion people today, however, the planet is already struggling to meet humanity's demands for land, food and other natural resources, and to absorb its wastes. Indeed, there is evidence that some planetary boundaries, which define a safe operating space for human development, may already have been transgressed. These include the biosphere's integrity, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, climate change and land system changes
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42
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The Global Risks Report 2016

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Global Risks Report 2016 features perspectives from nearly 750 experts on the perceived impact and likelihood of 29 prevalent global risks over a 10-year timeframe. The risks are divided into five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological.

The report also examines the interconnections among the risks, and through that analysis explores three areas where global risks have the greatest potential to impact society. These are the concept of the “(dis)empowered citizen”, the impact of climate change on food security, and the potential of pandemics to threaten social cohesion.

The report also takes an in-depth look at the how the global security landscape could evolve in the future; sharing the outcomes of a year-long study to examine current trends and possible driving forces for the future of international security.
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103
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Investing in European success - A Decade of Success in Earth Observation Research and Innovation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, December 4, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Earth observation data and information are vital to allow decision-makers and society in general to take informed decisions about climate, energy, food security, natural hazards, health and other societal challenges. These challenges are complex, interrelated, cross-border in nature and interdependent at the global scale and therefore coordination is essential to avoid duplication of efforts and reduce observational gaps.

The European Commission together with 27 EU Member States are active members of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which provides a global voluntary framework where governments and participating organisations can coordinate their strategies and investments in the field of Earth observation while promoting full and open access to data and information through the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

This booklet provides a snapshot of EU-funded projects which illustrate how European research and innovation contribute to this global initiative, showcasing the potential of international collaboration in science for diplomacy.
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Horizon 2020 - Investing in European success

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 8, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Horizon 2020 has a single overarching objective: the achievement of scientific, technological and societal impact based on excellent research and innovation projects. It aims to achieve economic impact by supporting industrial competitiveness, economic growth and job creation. It aims to achieve societal impact by developing the means to respond effectively, quickly and efficiently to the urgent societal challenges (climate change, loss of biodiversity, ageing, etc.) Europe is faced with.

This brochure, which presents examples of research and innovation projects funded through past EU programmes and constitutes a record of impact, shows that the ambitious goals set for Horizon 2020 are fully justified.

From 2014 to 2020, Horizon 2020 brings all EU research and innovation funding together under a single programme with three key objectives:

- Excellent Science: Strengthening the EU’s position as world leader in science and attracting the best talents to work together across Europe;
- Competitive Industries: Strengthening industrial leadership in innovation to get Europe back on the path to growth and job creation;
- Better Society: Innovating to tackle societal challenges shared by all Europeans, across seven key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; Europe in a changing world -inclusive, innovative and reflective societies; and Secure societies – protecting the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens
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The future of electricity transmission : cost-benefit analysis of a biodiversity-friendly vegetation management in forest corridors

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 30, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Vegetation is a threat for electricity transmission when overhead high-tension lines are crossing forest areas. For this reason, Transmission System Operators (TSO) often proceed by regular vegetation destruction in order to prevent any electrical blackout that could be triggered by trees, by contact or by fall.

The innovative LIFE Elia-RTE project (funded partly by EU) decided to think about alternative methods that could ensure not only electrical safety, but also enhance biodiversity ! These methods should aim at protecting species and natural habitats encompassed by the European Natura 2000 legislation. Indeed, for a good ecological state, we need core areas and connection corridors. This is where high-tension lines have a strong potential to be converted as green corridor for biodiversity.

On a 30 years timescale, biodiversity-friendly vegetation management has been estimated to be 1.4 to 3.9 cheaper than traditional vegetation management ! And not only for its cost savings, it also brings many other benefits.

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24
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