The Belmont Forum is an informal group of the world's major and emerging funders of global environmental change research and international science councils. It was co-founded by NERC and the National Science Foundation (US) in 2009.
It aims to:
- Meet 21st century needs for knowledge to support action on environmental change, building on 20th century understanding.
- Accelerate provision of knowledge for sustainability through increasing international collaboration in research.
The Belmont Forum has developed a funders' vision for the priority knowledge and capabilities derived from environmental research that society needs, and the underpinning research challenges over the next decade to deliver them. These are described in a White Paper and encapsulated as the 'Belmont Challenge':
"To deliver knowledge needed for action to avoid and adapt to detrimental environmental change including extreme hazardous events."
Further information can be found on the Belmont Forum website .
International Opportunities Fund
In April 2012 a €20m joint funding call was launched between the Belmont Forum and the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Funding that takes forwards the process developed by G8 Heads of Research Councils (G8HORCs) and delivers against two priority areas of the Belmont Challenge:
- Freshwater security
- Coastal vulnerability
International panel meetings were held in March 2013 to assess full proposals. Panels consisted of two members from each of the contributing national funding agencies countries.
Panel members from the UK were:
Freshwater security theme
Professor Nick Clifford - King's College London
Dr Glenn Watts - Environment Agency
Coastal vulnerability theme
Dr Luciana Esteves - Bournemouth University
Professor Alan Werritty - University of Dundee
Recommendations were made collectively by the panel to the Group of National Funding Agencies, who will make the final funding award decisions by early summer 2013.