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Department of Geography


Addressing Biodiversity Loss: Lessons from Climate Change

Biodiversity loss is a problem of global significance with serious implications for human wellbeing, compromising our ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Despite this, and despite the wealth of scientific evidence on the scale of the problem, biodiversity loss does not receive commensurate attention at national and international levels. At one time, the situation was similar for climate change – serious problems were becoming apparent, but this was not recognised or accepted by those outside a relatively small community. Now the issue is mainstreamed as a serious global concern, and given attention in all sectors of society. Can climate change provide a model that the biodiversity community can follow? What lessons can the biodiversity community learn from the relatively successful mobilization of global concern about climate change? And, by acting on these lessons, how can this community help ensure that biodiversity loss achieves a higher policy profile?

To address this issue, we have conducted a series of interviews with key players from across a range of sectors who are involved in discussions about climate change and biodiversity conservation. From these interviews, we have derived a set of 35 statements, which cover many of the important issues that are central to these discussions. This survey is an attempt to find out what people feel about these statements. The survey reviews key events in the climate change arena, and canvasses views on whether and how the biodiversity community can draw on and use experience from discussions around climate change. This is set in the broader context of the ‘biodiversity problem’ – what aspects of this are similar to climate change, and what aspects are different, requiring different approaches and solutions?

This is a collaborative study which involves a number of institutions that are part of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, including: The Political Ecology of Conservation Group in the Department of Geography; UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; and the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. For further information about the study, please contact Dr Bhaskar Vira.


The survey is now closed – thank you for your interest.