CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation: 2020 projects announced

16th September 2020

CCI’s Collaborative Fund for Conservation plays a critical role in fostering new collaborations across the CCI community and beyond. At the heart of the Fund is its focus on bringing together academic and practitioner communities to work together on projects that will have a significant impact on biodiversity conservation. With an emphasis on encouraging novel and innovative projects, the Collaborative Fund offers CCI partners the opportunity to develop projects that engage beyond the borders of their own organisations and disciplines.  

The Collaborative Fund for Conservation has been operational since 2009, and has funded 62 projects in that time, dispensing £3.5 million in funding. The diversity and breadth of projects funded over the past decade is striking; from an investigation of the use of drones to support remote tropical forest monitoring, to an evaluation of the potential ecological impact on migratory fish species from the global proliferation of dams, via projects feeding into global meetings to decide the future of biodiversity conservation, creating tools to support capacity development of conservation organisations and highlighting the importance of pollinators in food supply chainsThe full list of projects supported by the Collaborative Fund can be found here along with a series of indepth impact case studies. 

The CCI Executive Director’s Office is delighted to announce the results of the latest round of the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation, and offers its congratulations to the successful project teams. The latest four projects to join the Collaborative Fund portfolio are as follows: 

Quantifying global-level synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and nature-based climate solutions 

While global policy increasingly recognises the value of terrestrial habitats for climate stabilisation, carbon-biodiversity relationships are complex. This project will inform intergovernmental negotiations by combining CCI and wider expertise to quantify the emissions-reduction potential of a proposed biodiversity restoration goal and the biodiversity consequences of contrasting nature-based climate solutions. 

 Collaborators: RSPBUNEP-WCMCBirdLife InternationalUniversity of Cambridge: Zoology Dept; Plant Sciences Dept; Computer Sciences DeptIIASA AustriaConservation International USA,  University of Peking, China. 

Defining and Measuring “Destructive Fishing” in Support of Achieving SDG14 – Life Below Water 

Relating to SDG target 14.4, there has been significant global progress in addressing “overfishing” and “illegal fishing”, with far less focus on the inherent biodiversity risks of “destructive fishing”. This project aims to explore a consensus-driven definition of “destructive fishing” and identify opportunities to measure global progress on this issue. 

Collaborators: Fauna Flora InternationalUNEP-WCMCUniversity of Cambridge: Zoology DeptBirdLife InternationalRSPB 

A quantitative global review of trade in wild birds 

 Trade in wild birds represents a serious direct threat to the survival of many species and is a source of invasive species and zoonotic diseases. We will produce the first quantitative global overview of trade in birds, identifying key species, trade sectors and countries, to inform conservation policy and practice. 

Collaborators: BirdLife InternationalTRAFFICUniversity of Cambridge: Dept of ZoologyInfectious Diseases Research CentreIUCNUNEP-WCMC 

Sustainable finance for conservation landscapes in the post-COVID world  

The project will explore sustainable financing for conservation in the post-COVID19 context. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted traditional conservation finance models relying on private market flows. The results will contribute towards developing sustainable finance alternatives for conserving multi-functional landscapes that deliver positive outcomes for both people and nature.  

Collaborators: University of Cambridge: Dept of Geography; Centre for Study of Existential Risk, Fauna Flora International, BirdLife International 

These four diverse projects are linked by the need for a combined, multi-disciplinary approach. As Dan Steadman, Fisheries & Biodiversity Technical Specialist at Fauna & Flora International and project lead for ‘Defining and Measuring Destructive Fishing’’ explains, ‘effective seafood production depends on the health of marine biodiversity and that means accounting for the methods of fishing as much as it does the amount of fishing. Through seeking inputs from the fishing industry (large and small), fisheries managers (national and multilateral) and academia, we aim to develop consensus around the term ‘destructive fishing’ and, ultimately, to ensure that biodiversity considerations drive more ambitious and progressive marine management. 

Another new project supported this year, ‘A quantitative global review of trade in wild birds’ illustrates how the Collaborative Fund fosters new connections between institutions. This project involves a number of CCI conservation organisations and University of Cambridge academics, including researchers from the University’s Infectious Diseases Research CentreDr Paul Donald, Global Science Coordinator at BirdLife International and project lead for said We are delighted that the project has been chosen to by the panel. The trade in birds represents a significant conservation threat in its own right, but recent events have highlighted the wider implications of bringing wildlife into close contact with humans. This project will build strong links between the conservation and health communities”.  

In due course each of these projects will have its own dedicated page on the CCI website where you will be able to read more about what the project intends to do and how, and keep up to date with project progress. 

CCI is hugely grateful for the support of the donors which make the Collaborative Fund possible: Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, the Rothschild Foundation, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the Isaac Newton Trust and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.