Links in biodiversity conservation, ecosystems services and climate change: teaching materials and building capacity

Ecosystems provide numerous benefits, (ecosystem services), which are underpinned by biodiversity. Climate change has increased vulnerability and reduced resilience of ecosystems globally with potentially far reaching impacts on human well-being. There is therefore a need to foster a greater understanding of the links between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and climate change to enhance leadership at a local and global scale.

This project was funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation.

Project Aims

To foster the greater understanding of the links between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and climate change, the project aims to develop training materials and tools to effectively bridge the knowledge gap of early- and mid-career conservation practitioners and business leaders with the potential to facilitate change at a local level, where the greatest impacts of climate change are felt. Training topics focus on climate change impacts on ecosystem services and natural solutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The project objectives are:

  1. Produce a generic resource pack of training materials for various target groups, including early-career conservation practitioners, mid-career conservation practitioners and private sector leaders.
  2. Target different groups within CCI’s ambit to increase awareness and knowledge of the links between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and climate change by delivering training courses on the topic and training 60 individuals over the life of the project.
  3. Facilitate ongoing learning, knowledge sharing and networking among each of the applicant organisations.

Key Activities

  • Training workshop on ‘understanding and valuing ecosystem services’ delivered to conservation practioners in Africa at Arusha, Tanzania on 18th to 22nd June 2011 by Tropical Biology Association.
  • Convened meetings with experts on the subject matter from collaborating partners.
  • Defined learning outcomes from the different target groups.
  • Defined 10 priority topics of focus on the links between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and climate change.
  • Designed Training of Trainers Materials on 10 priority topics on subject matter.
  • Delivered training to two groups of conservation practicioners in Africa and Asia (China) on the priority topics identified.
  • Availed the Training of Trainers resources on web-based mediums for easy access by conservation practioners who attend the training.
  • Talk delivered on the project is contributions to capacity building on ecosystem services to a CCI forum that brought together projects funded under the auspices of the collaborative funds and working on the subject.
  • Training workshop on ‘understanding and valuing ecosystem services’ delivered to conservation practioners in Africa at Arusha, Tanzania on 18th to 22nd June 2011 by Tropical Biology Association.
  • Training of Trainers workshop on the ‘links between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and climate change’ delivered to 16 early and mid-career conservation practitioners in Kunming, China on 2nd to 5th May 2012 by the Conservation Leadership Programme.

Conservation Impact

The conservation outcomes and impacts from the project are listed below:

  • Greater understanding of how the conservation practitioners work at a local scale (site level) is connected to national studies on climate change and ecosystem services.
  • Trainees to the two national workshops in Africa and Asia developed new skills on using freely available tools to test for climate change vulnerability, valuing ecosystem services, designing climate change adaptation plans within for conservation projects and evaluating national adaptation plans for biodiversity relevance. 
  • Collaboration amongst Chinese conservation scientists started to investigate if climate change is a factor influencing the east-wards range expansion into China for the Asian Open-billed Stork (Anastomus oscitans) since 2006.  
  • Some participants to the trainings have passed on the learning from the workshops to their peers.
  • Some training participants are in the process of designing human and biodiversity adaptation plans on their conservation projects and initiatives.   
  • Workshop participants were exposed to national climate related data that can inform in designing biodiversity related research linked to ecosystem services and or climate change.
  • Expansion of the pool of experts involved in the development of the synopsis framework from 12 to 22 from the eight institutions involved in the project

Outputs

  1. Workshop training materials on 10 key technical topics developed on subject matters for target groups.
  2. A synopsis framework on links between subject matters was developed identifying 10 key technical topics for the target groups
  3. Development of a synopsis framework that identifies 10 key chapters of focus for the target groups
  4. Design of a writing style guide for the synopsis framework
  5. Development of the teaching outline for some of the target groups
  6. Agreement on the design for the layout of the 10 chapters identified for the synopsis framework
  7. Presentation: Delivered on how the project is contributing to capacity building on ecosystem services to a CCI forum that brought together projects funded under the auspices of the collaborative funds and working on the subject.
  8. Training materials on 10 priority topics developed on subject matters for 3 target groups
  9. Delivered a training workshop to conservation practioners in Africa on 18th to 22nd June 2011 by Tropical Biology Association
  10. Delivered a Training of Trainers workshop to 16 Conservation Leadership Programme alumni in China on 2nd to 5th May 2012

CCI partners Involved

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, delivering global and regional programmes of conservation and community projects.
The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) works with business, government and civil society to build the capacity of leaders to address global sustainability challenges. Seminars,...
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...
BirdLife International is a strategic global partnership of conservation organisations in over 100 countries, working to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, and to promote...
Tropical Biology Association is dedicated to building the capacity and expertise of people and institutions to conserve and manage biodiversity in tropical regions. Its network spans 40 countries.

Related Resources

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