50 million to Susanne Arvidsson and her team
The research programme ”Pathways towards an efficient alignment of the financial system with the needs of biodiversity (BIOPATH)”, with Lund University as host, has been granted funding of SEK 50 million over a period of four years, starting September 2022. The financier is Mistra (Foundation for Environmental Strategic Research) and Susanne Arvidsson at LUSEM is the main applicant and programme director of BIOPATH.
Congratulations Susanne Arvidsson! What is Mistra and who are in the team behind your Mistra application?
“Mistra is an independent research foundation and Lund University has two ongoing Mistra programmes today. With this grant the programme will run 4+4 years and we will be funded with 50+50 million. In addition to the international research team, the BIOPATH consortium include 34 influential partners from industry, the financial system and public authorities. All with great potential to make short and long term impact on the global arena,“ Susanne says.
“The BIOPATH consortium consists of a carefully composed team of research specialists in sustainable finance and biodiversity as well as influential partners from industry, the financial system and public authorities. We will work side by side to develop, innovate and test the most viable and effective solutions needed to stop and reverse the loss of biodiversity. In this process, we utilize the potential in digital innovation and AI expertise,“ Susanne explains.
BIOPATH will, together with its partners, map, evaluate and co-develop existing and new approaches where biodiversity is integrated into financial decision-making. The institutional and political consequences of these approaches will also be analyzed.
The programme includes researchers from several faculties at Lund University, University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, international research institutes and Swedish and international partners from industry, the financial system and public authorities. A total of 34 different partners are included in BIOPATH.
“The commitment from our partners in the industry and the financial system is extremely inspiring. There is a strong force to address these important issues and develop practical solutions that can safeguard biodiversity. I look forward to leading such a group and tackling these complex challenges together with the research team,“ says Susanne.
Henrik Smith is professor of animal ecology at The Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC) at Lund University and leads one of the included sub-projects, Quantifying Biodiversity Impact for Industry and the Financial system.
“The grant gives us the opportunity to jointly find, across scientific boundaries, methods to deal with one of the greatest challenges of our time; to slow down and reverse the loss of biodiversity,“ says Henrik Smith and continues:
“This is a unique opportunity to combine research on biodiversity and economic research, to find transparent methods for informing about how activities in the corporate and financial sector contribute to or counteract the loss of biodiversity.“
Perfect timing according to Mistra
Mats Benner, Dean at LUSEM, also sees great potential in BIOPATH:
“We are happy and proud of this large and long-term grant. Now we can take a broad approach to these issues of destiny. For Lund University, the grant is a breakthrough in terms of that we are now really taking the step across subject boundaries in these issues of ecology and economics.“
The programme proposals received have been evaluated by an international expert panel.
“Biodiversity is not just about species richness but about sustainable development in a much broader sense. The weak connection to the financial market players is something of a missing link today. If we can build bridges here, both the environment and the economy will benefit from it. The timing is perfect,“ says Johan Edman, programme manager at Mistra.
34 PARTNERS INVOLVED
Learn more about the 34 partners in the BIOPATH consortium: