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November 2017 - The JNCC and the University of Oxford commence a new project on mainstreaming biodiversity in the private sector

JNCC Oxford placement

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the University of Oxford are pleased to announce a new collaborative project that has commenced in November. This project sits at the intersection between science, policy and business, and involves a comprehensive analysis of the international biodiversity and relevant sustainable development targets to understand and maximize their relevance to the private sector.

Our project team includes: Tom Smith, a Valuing Nature Programme intern and PhD candidate at the University of Leeds; Matt Smith, an Ecosystems and Natural Capital Adviser at the JNCC; and, Dr Prue Addison, a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Oxford. This project involves a detailed analysis of international biodiversity targets (e.g. CBD Aichi Targets and Sustainable Development Goals) to illustrate their relevance to business, which will be supported by case studies that illustrate business action on biodiversity.

The primary aim of this project is to identify and explore avenues to motivate private sector biodiversity action. This project will inform strategic engagement of UK government, its’ agencies and Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements Secretariats with the private sector, and will directly feed into UK preparations for upcoming meetings such as business and biodiversity discussions at the Convention for Biological Diversity COP14 in 2018. It will also be used to inform the UK government’s mainstreaming biodiversity agenda, encouraging and enhancing private sector biodiversity action, and work towards the CDB Post-2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

For further information about this project, please email prue.addison@zoo.ox.ac.uk or matt.smith@jncc.gov.uk

 

October 2017 - Ideas to Impact program at the Saïd Business School

Ideas to Impact Program

 

Prue joined the Ideas to Impact program over September and October 2017 at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School. This program was an enterprise skills initiative offered to four postdoctoral researchers from the University of Oxford, who were welcomed into the executive MBA elective course ‘Strategy & Innovation’ at the business school. This was an incredible opportunity for researchers to immerse themselves in the business world, and learn about all things strategy and innovation - from the evolution of markets, disruption, ecosystems for innovation, and the architecture of social networks. Prue would like to thank the MPLS Division and the Saïd Business School (especially Professor Marc Vantresca) for offering this incredible opportunity.

 

October 2017 - EU Business and Biodiversity conference

Prue attended the EU B@B Platform annual conference in on 4-5 October in Frankfurt, which brought together 150 international company representatives and experts from more than 20 countries to discuss aspects of implementing natural capital and biodiversity in their day-to-day business activities. You can read a summary of the workshop here.

Prue helped co-facilitate the session on setting a corporate biodiversity ambition level. Hopefully you'll see a report summarising this session here soon. Prue also moderated a great final panel discussion on 'What can public and private players do to create the enabling conditions for fostering a system change? '.

It was a great 2 days to connect with the EU Business and Biodiversity world, to talk about what biodiversity means to business and discuss some of the challenges around setting an ambition level for biodiversity and fully integrating biodiversity considerations into business decision-making. Prue shared insights from conservation science that can help businesses begin to think critically about their ambition for minimizing impacts on biodiversity and contribute to global efforts to conserve biodiversity.  There are many tools from conservation science toolbox, that can help address the challenges that businesses are grappling with relating to measuring, evaluating and acting on biodiversity performance, such as:

cons sci solutions

To find out more about the conservation science toolbox that can help address the challenges that businesses are grappling with relating to measuring, evaluating and acting on biodiversity performance, read our latest KE@ICCS Brief Science note.

September 2017 - New Accounting for the Management of Ecosystems workshop, Cambridge

Prue was invited as an expert to speak at the workshop on New Accounting for the Management of Ecosystems at the University of Cambridge. Prue presented her research on marine monitoring, evaluating and reporting, and conservation decision-making, to illustrate how conservation science tools can help businesses wanting to account for their biodiversity performance.  This workshop will brought together conservation scientists and social and environmental accounting researchers, to explore ways to collaborate on innovative ecosystem accounting approaches.

You can find a summary of the workshop here, which includes the excellent plenary presentation by Professor Paolo Quattrone on 'Who said Accounting Was Boring?'.

August 2017 - Valuing Nature Placement Opportunity: Analysis of international biodiversity targets to understand and maximize their relevance to the private sector

VN placement offer

ICCS have teamed up with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to offer a Valuing Nature Placement opportunity. This placement offers an opportunity to work at the intersection between science, policy and business – undertaking a systematic analysis of international biodiversity and relevant sustainable development targets to understand and maximize their relevance to the private sector. We are seeking a motivated candidate to undertake a systematic analysis of international biodiversity targets (e.g.  CBD Aichi Targets and Sustainable Development Goals) to illustrate their relevance to business, support findings with case studies, and analyse information to identify avenues to motivate private sector action on biodiversity.  

We have now selected a candidate, thanks to all of those who have applied!

July 2017 - Business & Biodiversity session at the International Congress for Conservation Biology, Colombia

Prue Addison and Joe Bull hosted a special symposium at ICCB on "Developing the scientific basis that enables businesses to support biodiversity conservation".

The fundamental goal of conservation science is to provide the technical understanding and tools that enable humanity to conserve biodiversity. End-users of conservation science include international policymakers, governments, and NGOs. More recently, an important end-user of conservation science has emerged – businesses, an increasing number of which seek to take an active role in biodiversity conservation.

Businesses face serious barriers that prevent them from supporting biodiversity conservation. These barriers are scientific, as much as social and economic, including: establishing metrics for objectively evaluating and reporting on biodiversity performance; methods for comparing performance across multiple scales; and, managing biodiversity in the face of uncertainty. In fact, efforts to conserve biodiversity as part of business operations expose gaps in the scientific basis underlying conservation science more generally.

This symposium included five presentations from practitioners and academics working in the area of ‘business and biodiversity’:

Prue Addison, University of Oxford “Engaging with business to revolutionize biodiversity conservation”

Fabien Quétier, Biotope “Developing robust biodiversity indicators for private sector conservation and natural capital accounting”

Eugenie Regan, The Biodiversity Consultancy “What biodiversity data does business need?”

Joe W. Bull, University of Copenhagen “A quantitative worldwide assessment of biodiversity offsetting”

Martine Maron, University of Queensland “Resolving controversies in compensatory conservation”

During the symposium we discussed ‘business and biodiversity’ though the lens of topics including ‘no net loss’ conservation mechanisms (e.g. biodiversity offsetting), natural capital accounting, and factoring industry into landscape conservation planning. We showcased recent developments in the ‘business and biodiversity’ research field, and identified critical research gaps needed to be addressed in order to advance the field. Our symposium finished with a lively Q&A session with audience members about was to engage businesses more meaningfully in applied conservation.

 

July 2017 - Prue's knowledge exchange work featured in the NERC Planet Earth magazine

NERC Planet Earth Spring/Summer Edition

The Natural Environment Research Council Planet Earth magazine has just been released, and it's all about biodiversity! This magazine is full of interesting articles about what biodiversity is, and illustrates some current NERC research on biodiversity. It also features some NERC Knowledge Exchange fellowship work, which is helping connect biodiversity research to address businesses challenges. Check out the full magazine here or the article on Making Clean Growth Happen, which features my work to help multi-national businesses understand and minimise their impacts on biodiversity.  

 

June 2017 - UN World Conservation Monitoring Centre Biodiversity Indicators Workshop

Prue was an invited expert who attended the UN WCMC biodiversity indicators workshop in June. This workshop included biodiversity indicator experts, conservation scientists, consultants and business representatives from the Proteus Partners. The focus of the workshop was to discuss the needs of businesses in the extractive sector to develop biodiversity indicators in order to address the information needs of investors, regulatory bodies and civil society. It was clear from the workshop that there is great interest from the private sector to use a consistent approach to develop meaningful and scalable biodiversity metrics that can help address not only site-level assessment of biodiversity performance, but also biodiversity performance at corporate level. The next step that need to be taken will need to be a bold step from businesses: to invest in a sector-level project to develop and test biodiversity indicators that can address the increasing need for corporate biodiversity performance.

 

June 2017 - Creating a community of Knowledge Exchange practice at the University of Oxford

What Does ‘Knowledge Exchange’ Mean at Oxford? A workshop for KE project leads across the University of Oxford

On 29 June, Alice Purkiss (Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, University of Oxford & The National Trust) and Prue hosted a workshop that was the first of its kind in Oxford. We brought together Knowledge Exchange practitioners from different departments across the University of Oxford – that is those actively running projects that focus on the transfer of research beyond academic boundaries to benefit society, policy and practice. During the workshop participants had an opportunity to network, share learnings, and define what effective practice of knowledge exchange looks like across disciplines at the University of Oxford. This workshop marks the start of a KE practitioners network at the University of Oxford.

 

June 2017 - Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Biodiversity Metric Workshop

Prue was invited as an expert to attend the CISL and Kering biodiversity metric workshop held in June. This workshop included biodiversity indicator experts, conservation scientists and business representatives interested in the development of the CISL and Kering biodiversity metric. You can read about the metric development and workshop here.

 

May 2017 - Society Is Ready for a New Kind of Science—Is Academia?

Prue is the co-author of a paper in BioScience led by Bonnie Keeler and a fantastic group of scientists who are passionate about breaking the traditional model of academic research. In this paper, five key areas are outlined which are needed to ensure that science will truly serve society and the planet: 

  1. Produce not only professors but also future environmental leaders
  2. Cultivate a culture that values use-inspired research
  3. Move ideas into action faster
  4. Put people at the center of environmental science
  5. Reimagine academic structures to encourage innovation

You can read our open access BioScience paper here.

 

May 2017 - Conservation decision support tools workshop, Cambridge

Decision support tools workshop, Cambridge

Conservation scientists and modellers convened in Cambridge in May to discuss the development and use of decision support tools in conservation, and ways to improve user-centred design. This workshop was led by David Rose and Rebecca Robertson. Prue was an invited panelist and spoke about her role as a Knowledge Exchange fellow in translating scientific evidence to ensure it is fit for purpose and ready for use by businesses. For more information and outputs from the workshop, check out our paper.

 

May 2017 - Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Biodiversity Impact Metric Workshop

Prue was invited as an expert to attend the CISL and Kering biodiversity metric workshop held in May. This workshop included biodiversity indicator experts and conservation scientists, who provided advice about the metric developed to date. You can read about the metric development process here.

 

April 2017 - The future of corporate biodiversity accounting and disclosure at the Conservation Optimism Summit, London

In April 2017 the Conservation Optimism summit played host to a very special session in London, which brought together representatives from business, NGOs and universities to discuss the emerging field of business & biodiversity. Our session focused on biodiversity accounting (e.g., the development of biodiversity metrics for business) and disclosure (e.g., communicating biodiversity performance in corporate social responsibility reports).

This session brought together 12 amazing panel members to share the latest research and best practice examples of business’ involvement in biodiversity conservation. Please watch and share our three-part video series on the outcomes of the Business & Biodiversity session:

Part 1: Summary of the panel discussion on corporate biodiversity accounting and disclosure

Part 2: Highlights from the corporate biodiversity accounting and disclosure Q&A session

Part 3: Five panel members’ take-home messages from the session. Featuring: Mark Gough, (Executive Director, Natural Capital Coalition), Giulia Carbone (Deputy Director, IUCN Global Business and Biodiversity Programme), Martina di Fonzo (Postdoctoral researcher, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute), Pippa Howard (Director of Business & Biodiversity, Fauna & Flora International) and Keith Tuffley (CEO of The B Team).

I would like to thank the Natural Environment Research Council for sponsoring the corporate biodiversity accounting and disclosure session and the Conservation Optimism summit. I would also like to thank all of our 12 panel members for participating in a really optimistic discussion around the future for corporate biodiversity accounting and disclosure. 

Panel 1

Helen Crowley, Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation, Kering

Julia Baker, Biodiversity Technical Specialist, Balfour Beatty

Chris Eves, Forestry Officer, Zoological Society of London

Martina di Fonzo, Postdoctoral researcher, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute

Panel 2:

Mark Gough, Executive Director, Natural Capital Coalition

Clément Feger, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, and the Luc Hoffmann Institute

Francis Vorhies, Executive Director, Earthmind

Richard Barker, Professor of Accounting, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Panel 3:

Keith Tuffley, CEO of The B Team

Giulia Carbone, Deputy Director, IUCN Global Business and Biodiversity Programme

Pippa Howard, Director of Business and Biodiversity, Fauna & Flora International

Bhaskar Vira, Founding Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute

 

April 2017 - Decision triggers for evidence-based conservation management webinar

Prue presented a webinar for members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management on her recent Journal of Applied Ecology paper "Conservation practitioners’ perspectives on decision triggers for evidence-based management". You can read a blog about the paper here, view the original paper here, and see the webinar in the YouTube link below:

 

December 2016 - CBD COP13

Prue attended the Business and Biodiversity forum at the Convention for Biological Diversity COP13 in Mexico in December. Prue also presesnted a draft report on “International biodiversity targets and their relevance to business". This report was presented to the CBD Global Partnership meeting for comment and to investigate the potential for future expansion of this work with the global partners. Please email Prue if you'd like to find out more about this research.

 

November 2016 - A Collaborative Platform for Making Change: Scaling up actions for biodiversity conservation workshop, London

Prue teamed up with BP, FFI and the UNE-WCMC to facilitate the Making Change workshop in London. This workshop was attended by representatives from 20 business and industry associations, 10 NGOs and intergovernmental organisation, and 3 research organisations. The final workshop report is now available here.

 

September 2016 - World Conservation Congress, Hawaii

Prue attended the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, where she will be delivering an invited presentation "Managing for successful engagements: an academic perspective” in the session "Multi-stakeholder dialogue on corporate biodiversity measurement and reporting”. This presentation will contribute to the Business and Biodiversity journey at the WCC. See our Brief Science note on what is needed to take business commitments to nature conservation beyond the crossroads.

 

August 2016 - Early career research & conservation impact blog

Prue blogged about lessons from the field of knoweldge exchange and how these can be used by early career researchers to achieve conservation impact.

 

August 2016 - A Collaborative Platform for Making Change: Scaling up actions for biodiversity conservation webinar

In preparation for the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, the Making Change team (BP, FFI, UNE-WCMC and the University of Oxford) hosted a webinar to outline and disucss key IUCN motions relevant to businesses. This webinar was follwed up with a workshop in November 2016 - see above!

 

July 2016 - Society for Conservation Biology Oceania conference, Australia

Prue presented on "Lessons from businesses working to achieve corporate level NNL of biodiversity" in a special symposium on No Net Loss of Marine Biodiversity.

 

June 2016 - Is no net loss of #marine #biodiversity feasible blog

Prue blogged about how we can take lessons from terrestrial no net loss (NNL) projects and translate these to the marine environment.

 

May 2016 - Introducing KE@ICCS

Knoweldge Exchange at ICCS is launched - see our Brief Science note on the work we are doing with businesses to incorporate conservation research into business decision-making!

Find Out More About Knowledge Exchange @ ICCS: