Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development - Research Module on Ecosystems

Enhancing sustainable and climate-friendly use and management of ecosystems for human well-being is at the core of a new research module in the context of SDC’s and the Swiss National Science Foundation’s (SNSF) joint r4d Program (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development; Researchers from Switzerland with their partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America will jointly generate new insights and develop innovative concepts and tools for a more sustainable and equitable provision of ecosystem services benefiting the poor.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Agriculture & food security
Environmental policy
Sector not specified
Agricultural policy
15.05.2013 - 31.12.2023
CHF  16’100’000

Over the last five decades humans have increasingly changed ecosystems to meet rapidly growing demands. This has resulted in rapid changes in the global ecosystems, including a loss of biodiversity and degradation of natural resources. Despite substantial gains in economic development and human well-being that have been achieved through changes to ecosystems, not all regions and groups of people have benefited from them. At the same time, the negative effects of ecosystem change are being borne disproportionately by the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For addressing such complex global issues in a holistic and integrated way inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation play a crucial role.


Ecosystems are used and managed in a sustainable way and provide adequate services, in particular, for the benefit of poor and vulnerable societies in developing countries and emerging economies.

Target groups


  • Research community in Switzerland and developing countries.
  • Relevant stakeholders, which act to cause, facilitate, or prevent change in the field of ecosystems at global, regional, and national level.
  • Beneficiaries: Societies, and particularly the poor, marginalized, vulnerable population groups in developing countries and emerging economies.

    Medium-term outcomes


  • Research-based economic, political, and technological solutions for sustainable use and management of ecosystems which consider global changes and benefit the poor are identified.
  • National and international stakeholders are informed on trade-offs and options for dealing with ecosystems and the respective goods and services in a more sustainable and equitable manner, and make use of the provided evidence, tools and approaches.
  • Scientific competencies of researchers in dealing, in a systemic and integrated manner, with ecosystems and ecosystem services under consideration of poverty reduction are increased.


    Results from previous phases:  

    The first two thematic r4d research modules (social conflicts and employment) as well as the first of three thematically open calls were successfully launched in 2012. The submitted proposals are currently being evaluated. The main evaluation criteria are scientific quality and development relevance.

    Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
    Credit area Development cooperation
    Project partners Contract partner
    Swiss Academic and Research Institution
    • Swiss National Science Foundation
    • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

    Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    16’100’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    16’090’000
    Project phases Phase 5 01.06.2014 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase) Phase 4 15.05.2013 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase) Phase 3 15.05.2013 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.09.2012 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.03.2012 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase)