Lessons learnt from the climate change debate

Biodiversity loss is of global significance with serious implications for human health and wellbeing. Despite this, and the wealth of scientific evidence on the scale of the problem, biodiversity loss does not seem to attract the same level of attention at national and international levels as climate change.

This project starts to tease apart the drivers behind this difference by drawing on the experience of policy makers, researchers and conservation practitioners to help to answer a series of questions. How did climate change rise so quickly up national and international agendas? What lessons can the biodiversity community learn from this, and can climate change provide a model that the biodiversity community can follow? Ultimately, what steps can be taken to help to ensure that biodiversity loss achieves a similarly high public and policy profile?

Work on this project is ongoing and it will use the answers to these questions examine the factors that caused climate change to rise so rapidly up the political, public and business agendas. It is hoped that the results will inform a range of biodiversity initiatives and ongoing policy development as well as potentially helping to steer and refine advocacy and awareness raising programmes.

Outputs

  1. A series of interviews with 170 policy makers, researchers and conservation practitioners in 2010 has resulted in a draft paper, currently being prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  2. A policy summary will also be prepared. A number of policy makers were engaged in the interviews and have expressed an interest in the outcomes of the project, and the potential for a follow-on project is currently being investigated.

CCI partners Involved

The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...
The Department of Geography's research clusters focus on society and environment, development and political ecology, culture and demography, environmental processes, landscape modelling and climate...
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in...