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National Research Council

Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems

The start of the National Biodiversiy Future Centre (NBFC), funded by Italian PNRR through Ministry of Education of Research and coordinated by CNR is approaching. The main goal of this Center will be to connect high-profile scientific research and modern technologies to support specific actions, in order to monitor, preserve and restore biodiversity in marine, terrestrial and urban ecosystems all over the Peninsula. Furthermore, the Biodiversity Centre will promote biodiversity and make it a crucial element to sustainable development. The first evaluation has been completed and the project will start the negotiation with MUR in order to receive about 350 million of euros as an initial funding. “Biodiversity – says Carlo Calfapietra, Director of the Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems, National Research Council (Cnr-Iret) – plays a crucial role in all planetary ecosystems and in the subsequent resources, goods and services provision. Hence, ecosystems and biodiversity sustain and support prosperity and health at both human communities and individual level. In order to address the actual state of emergency and bring human activity back to sustainable standards, it is necessary to act with appropriate strategies, based upon scientific and technological knowledge and aiming at fulfilling European 2030 requirements. Specifically, it will be crucial to reduce biodiversity loss by 30% and restore ecosystems stability by at least 15% through ecological habitats recovery”. “Therefore – he adds – it is mandatory to take rapid action on different levels of biological organization, comprehensive of essential processes, functions and interactions between organisms and their environment. In this new concept of ‘functional biodiversity’, human beings shall be an integrated and non-overriding other component within ecosystems. Italy is part of the Mediterranean biodiversity Hot Spot and is distinguished by a unique richness of endemic species and a great ecological and habitat variability. Despite this peculiarity, our country has suffered substantial losses of biodiversity in numerous taxa and habitats”. Due to this scenario, the NBCF will focus on Mediterranean, investigating on how to reduce anthropogenic pressure on all ecosystems. Simultaneously, the NBFC will bring citizens closer to biodiversity and environment related themes, showing that differences among species are valuable elements to cherish and preserve. In this perspective, the Center shall establish a modern Museum of Biodiversity, an interactive space with augmented reality. Furthermore, the Center will digitize all information, guaranteeing a precise quantitative and qualitative amount of references relevant for decision makers, tailored to evaluate every biodiversity protection choice. All of this could be achieved with ESFRI infrastructures partly, mainly or solely dedicated to biodiversity. Through a number of milestones and thanks to a significant funding (350 Millions €), the NBCF will be aiming different goals, such as screening at least thousands molecules of interest for the biodiversity scenario and genotyping the thousands of animal and plant endemic species, plus the unknown taxa that will emerge during these operations. “The roadmap is very interesting – Calfapietra explains – we hope that by the end of May we will be able to present the whole scientific project. The National Centre of Biodiversity could contribute to achieve many goals, characterized by both national and international relevance. We are very proud of this first step, which could allow the achievement of many important objective in order to monitor, preserve and restore the precious biodiversity of our country and, on a much bigger scale, of our planet”.