The European Biodiversity Strategy 2030 commits Union Member States to legally protect a minimum of 30% of the European Union’s land and sea area and to strictly protect at least a third of these protected areas. European Members States are also committed to effectively manage conservation areas and to restore Europe’s natural capital, thus taking a leading role in the Post-2020 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Framework.

A cornerstone of the European Biodiversity Strategy 2030 is to develop a coherent Trans-European Nature Network (TEN-N) that connects areas through ecological corridors. If appropriately designed and managed, the TEN-N will foster climate change adaptation and deliver a wide range of benefits for biodiversity and people.

To help the European Union and its Member States to realize their ambitious biodiversity strategy, the European Union Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme has funded NaturaConnect. The Project brings together experts from 22 partner institutions, jointly coordinated by the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU).

Our Lab, through the Biodiversity Research Chair at the University of Évora, will lead the case study focused on Portugal and contribute with research across several of the work packages of the project, namely the modelling of biodiversity responses to climate and land-use change scenarios, the definition of ecological corridors, and the identification of new areas of high conservation value to protect and restore in the horizon of 2030. The Portuguese case study will benefit from experience and results published as part of the governmental-sponsored Biodiversidade 2030 initiative.