Five new projects funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation

18th June 2015

Following a meeting of the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation Selection Panel, CCI is pleased to be able to announce the projects chosen by the Panel to receive funding from the Collaborative Fund in 2015.

This year five projects have been selected to receive funding. They are:

PRISM: Practical Impact Assessment Methods for Small and Medium-sized Conservation Projects

This project brings together individuals from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology, FFI, BTO, BirdLife International, TBA, RSPB and UNEP-WCMC to review and evaluate experience, identify good practice and develop guidance suited to the challenges involved in monitoring impacts of small and medium-sized conservation projects. The project aims to develop tools and guidance to improve the way in which conservation practitioners assess the impacts of small-medium budget conservation projects, and so contribute to an improvement in evidence-based conservation delivery, efficiency and effectiveness in the long-term.

Impacts of renewable energy on global biodiversity – an overlooked cost of climate change mitigation?

Attempts to reduce the effects of climate change, which poses a significant and increasing threat to biodiversity, include a growing focus on renewable sources of energy. There is, however, a risk that renewable energy developments such as wind farms and biofuels may have unintended consequences on biodiversity. In this collaborative project BTO, BirdLife International, IUCN, the RSPB, UNEP-WCMC, the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology and the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research will assess biodiversity’s vulnerability to large-scale renewable energy deployment. The project’s outputs will include the development of global maps to inform spatial planning and cumulative impacts of renewable energy deployment, and policy-relevant outputs to inform industry, international financial institutions, regulatory bodies and conservation organisations on how deployment can be sensitive to needs for species protection

A Conservation Agenda for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ)

The areas of the oceans that lie outside the jurisdiction of any state have traditionally been protected because of their inaccessibility and remoteness. Developments in technological capacity, and shifting market opportunities, mean this is now starting to change, with the consequence that the biodiversity within these areas (‘biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction’, BBNJ) is increasingly at risk from human activities. There is international support, led by the United Nations, for the development of a new legal instrument to protect BBNJ, but this requires a thorough understanding of the threats likely to affect BBNJ. This project, involving UNEP-WCMC, the University of Cambridge’s Department of Land Economy, IUCN and BirdLife International, will conduct a horizon scan of threats to BBNJ and a review of legal options for BBNJ protection. Outputs from these activities will feed into a workshop, attended by marine conservation and legal experts, at which an international conservation agenda for the protection of BBNJ will be developed.

Expanding Conservation Impact through Enterprise Development (EXCITED)

It is widely recognised that local communities require incentives, including economic incentives, if they are to change practices that threaten biodiversity. However, efforts by conservation organisations to support the livelihoods of natural resource dependent communities often fail to provide lasting economic benefits, to have impact at scale or to reduce pressure on biodiversity. This project, a collaboration between FFI, the Centre for Social Innovation at the Cambridge Judge Business School, the University of Cambridge’s Department of Geography, and Practical Action, will contribute to the development and practical implementation of viable business models that provide positive social, economic and conservation impacts in landscapes of strategic biodiversity value. This will be achieved through an innovative capacity-building programme that combines: 1) support to conservation practitioners and post-graduate students to identify and facilitate development of market systems with high potential for positive biodiversity impact, and 2) business incubation and development support to enterprises and social/environmental entrepreneurs identified as candidates for conservation impact investment. 

Protected Area connectivity: an assessment for Aichi target 11

Aichi Target 11 commits CBD Parties to conserving 17% of the terrestrial surface of the earth, especially “areas of particular importance for biodiversity” through “well-connected” systems of protected areas or “other effective area-based conservation measures”. This project brings together staff from UNEP-WCMC, BirdLife International, the University of Cambridge’s Departments of Plant Sciences and Geography, and the RSPB to assess the degree of connectivity existing currently between protected areas and/or other effective area-based conservation measures, with a focus on one taxon (birds) and one region (Africa). This project will identify both protected and unprotected habitat patches that are of particular importance to the maintenance of populations of assemblages of forest-dependent birds and that are also under severe threat from recent and potential future land-use changes.