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United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Germany Join the Scientific Expeditions Call

With new international contributions, the call for Scientific Expeditions, launched by the Amazon+10 Initiative in partnership with CNPq, now has a total fund of approximately R$94 million

Four foreign agencies have joined the Scientific Expeditions call, launched in November by the Amazon+10 Initiative in conjunction with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), which is open for applications until April 29, 2024. These agencies include the British Council and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) from the United Kingdom, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) from Switzerland, and the Bavarian University Center for Latin America (BAYLAT) from Germany.

These institutions will support researchers from their respective countries in developing studies related to the Brazilian Amazon - information and details on the eligible items for each agency are described in Annex IX of the call, and in the case of UKRI applicants, also in Annex X.

CNPq and the 19 State Foundations for Research involved in the call have allocated R$59.2 million to finance research aimed at expanding scientific knowledge of the sociobiodiversity in lesser-known areas of the world's largest tropical forest. With the financial contributions from the four international agencies - 30,000 euros, 5 million pounds sterling (£4 million from UKRI and £1 million from the British Council), and 1 million Swiss francs - the Scientific Expeditions call now has a total fund of approximately R$94 million.

In addition, the British Council will also invest in other actions in collaboration with the Amazon+10 Initiative, including a program of early career scholarships for researchers from the Legal Amazon in the United Kingdom. It amounts to £360,000 to fund 6 scholarships, around R$2.1 million.

Also, in 2023, the Amazonia BR/UK Workshops Grants call was launched, aiming to finance scientific workshops to support new research, projects, and collaborations between Brazilian and British researchers on topics related to the Amazon. The British Council allocated around £370,000, approximately R$2.3 million, for this call. Proposals submitted until January 7, 2024, are currently under evaluation.

The National Council of State Foundations for Research (CONFAP) also signed Memoranda of Understanding with SNSF, BAYLAT and UKRI for cooperation within the Amazon+10 Initiative between the three international entities and the State Foundations for Research.

About the Scientific Expeditions call

Although the Amazon is one of the largest and most intact forests in the world, it is also one of the least known in biological terms. Its immense size, diversity, and limited access make documenting its biodiversity extremely challenging.

The call aims to fill two gaps, one geographical and one taxonomic, and also supports expeditions to expand knowledge of the sociocultural diversity of traditional peoples in the Amazon. The funding will support research on the material and immaterial heritage of ancestral, indigenous, and traditional peoples, documentation of indigenous languages and associated knowledge systems, as well as the relationship between territorial dynamics of traditional peoples and the sustainable use of the forest's natural resources.

It is important to note that the participation of foreign members in scientific expedition research requires authorization, which must be requested from the relevant authorities by the collaborator in Brazil (guidance on the CNPq website), and the necessary licenses (for collection, access to genetic material, sending material abroad, etc.) must be arranged by the Brazilian researchers on the team. One of the guidelines of the call is that the material collected in scientific expeditions be cataloged and safeguarded in Amazonian institutions, as a means of preserving this heritage.

The announcement of the final results of the selected proposals will take place in August 2024.

The Amazon+10 Initiative is led by CONFAP and the National Council of Secretaries for Science, Technology, and Innovation (Consecti), and also has the partnership of CNPq. The program has already allocated nearly R$100 million in resources for scientific projects in the region, bringing together research groups that combine researchers from the Legal Amazon and other Brazilian states.


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