Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) last week unveiled a programme to restore priority landscapes across Europe. The Endangered Landscapes Programme (ELP) will provide a demonstration of nature’s powers of recovery, and the benefits to habitats, species and people of restoring biodiversity and ecosystem processes to degraded land and seas.
‘High-yield’ farming costs the environment less than previously thought – and could help spare habitats14 Sep 2018
New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the “least bad” option for feeding the world while saving its species – provided use of such “land-efficient” systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland.
Truffles are one of the world’s most expensive ingredients, and also one of the most mysterious. Now, with the help of a 170-year-old ‘living laboratory’, and a dog called Lucy, researchers hope to unearth new understanding of the secret life of these underground delicacies.
Contrary to public perception, die-offs in honeybee colonies are an agricultural not a conservation issue, argue Cambridge researchers, who say that manged honeybees may contribute to the genuine biodiversity crisis of Europe’s declining wild pollinators.
Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of “anthropogenic impact”. Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability.
A new study shows that even those presumably best informed on the environment find it hard to consistently “walk the walk”, prompting scientists to question whether relying solely on information campaigns will ever be enough.
World's botanic gardens contain a third of all known plant species, and help protect the most threatened25 Sep 2017
The most in-depth species survey to date finds an “astonishing array” of plant diversity in the global botanic garden network, including 41% of all endangered species. However, researchers find a significant imbalance between tropical and temperate plants, and say even more capacity should be given to conservation, as there is “no technical reason for plant species to become extinct”.
Conservation initiatives led by local and indigenous groups can be just as effective as schemes led by government, according to new research. In some cases in the Amazon rainforest, grassroots initiatives can be even more effective at protecting this vital ecosystem. This is particularly important due to widespread political resistance to hand over control over forests and other natural resources to local communities.
Is the knowledge and scholarship that universities produce relevant to the problems the world faces? In a new essay co-authored with an international group of researchers, Dr Bhaskar Vira of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) and the Department of Geography argues that in order for science to best serve society and the planet, universities and researchers need to adjust their focus and take responsibility for institutional innovation in five key areas.
Cambridge conservationists will unite with colleagues across the globe on Earth Day this Saturday to lionise environmental victories and show there is cause for hope – the decisive component in the fight to save disappearing biodiversity.