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University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute

 

UCCRI’s research addresses some of the most urgent societal challenges of our time. This includes, amongst others:

  • Finding sustainable ways to feed current and future human populations without ‘costing the earth.
  • Exploring and articulating the contributions of nature to the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Developing strategies for future human and planetary prosperity which incorporate natural capital and circular economy principles.
  • Developing evidence-based solutions to avert the existential crises of ecological collapse and climate breakdown that threaten human survival on the planet.

Biodiversity conservation is concerned not only with the preservation and management of species and habitats but also with understanding ecosystem functions and how these underpin and interact with human wellbeing and prosperity. Both ecological and social systems shape, constrain and influence the ways in which humans interact with, and transform, nature. This work necessitates insights that draw on scholarship from a wide range of methodological and disciplinary perspectives – from spatial and temporal data and models that document and predict ecosystem change, to the values, governance, political and behavioural contexts that determine the types of interventions that society is willing to implement, and the likelihood of their effectiveness.

UCCRI has been established to respond to this need, focusing on interdisciplinary research on biodiversity conservation and the social context within which humans engage with nature. The impact of academic research in this field depends on a willingness and ability to exchange views and information with other sectors of society. As a partner in CCI, UCCRI is uniquely placed to feed new thinking and training into worldwide conservation practice and policy through the partner conservation organisations and their networks. Similarly the experience, knowledge and information from on-the-ground implementation of policy, practice, capacity building and conservation leadership informs UCCRI’s research and teaching.