Last December, we attended COP15, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, together with many other young people of our network. This was not the first summit where youth was represented. However, our voices were never as strong as at COP15, where the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was decided on.
Whatever the scale, and wherever the location, most of our funding could be better spent if we ensure the work being proposed is based on reliable evidence, whether that be from academic literature, from centuries (or millennia) of local understanding, or from other sources. Funders can be instrumental in encouraging applicants to check the available evidence for the actions they are proposing, to ensure they have the best chance of success.
COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity has set a course for nations to significantly step up their actions to halt the loss of biodiversity. But will the new ‘plan of action’ for nature adopted at COP15 – termed the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – succeed? In this blog, Catherine shares her personal reflections on the conference and the 'reasons to be cheerful', despite the challenges left unresolved.
How can we maximize the effectiveness of grant-making in the international conservation field? This article is based on my experience in international environmental conservation, both as head of implementing nonprofits for 35 years, and as a foundation grant officer supporting in-country organizations for 15 years. I have witnessed both very effective – and ineffective – grant making practices, and would like to share my perspectives on best practices.
Many of society’s environmental and health goals cannot be met without tackling chemical pollution and there are huge wins to be had right now. Let’s not miss this window of opportunity to create a healthier and more sustainable future.
Action for nature must be informed by science and knowledge or we risk wasting precious time and money
Applied research ensures that actions to combat global challenges such as biodiversity loss are effective, resources are used efficiently, and outcomes for nature and people are understood and sustained. But government funding for such research is being reduced, just when we need it most.
Biodiversity projects by their nature often require sustained investment until a clear tipping point has been reached. Equally, the factors driving nature loss and biodiversity decline are pervasive: large-scale action, able to bring a suite of habitats and entire ecosystems back to health, is a demonstrably effective mechanism to restore biodiversity at a scale where it is more likely to survive into the future. EU LIFE funding has provided this large-scale, long-term funding for landscape-level conservation. On leaving the EU, Scotland and the rest of the UK are no longer eligible to apply for LIFE funding and there are currently no proposals on how it will be replaced. So what are the options going forward?
For conservation to truly be successful in stemming the ongoing biodiversity losses being experienced across the globe, we need to make concerted efforts to measure the impact of specific interventions, thereby generating evidence to inform the development of more impactful conservation strategies in the future. As part of an MPhil in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge, Salisha Chandra undertook a research project to generate insights into and best practices in conservation impact measurement and reporting. Here are the key recommendations to emerge from her research for conservation funders to encourage better monitoring and evaluation practice by their grantees.
Whitley Fund for Nature supports grassroots conservation leaders in the Global South, for whom the effects of the pandemic have been profound. Across our network of over 200 conservationists in more than 80 countries, many are facing delays to urgent projects, reduced income from livelihoods based on ecotourism, or an increase in harmful activities by people who are struggling to survive. But our winners never cease to inspire us with their ability to adapt to challenging circumstances, writes Amy Forshaw from Whitley Fund for Nature.
COVID-19 is a reminder of the strength of communities, the effectiveness of collective action, the power of empathy. Can we harness these positives to begin to change the stories we tell ourselves about our place in the world? Can it be the catalyst for us to begin to address the inequalities in our relationships, both among our own communities, and with the natural world around us? This pandemic may just have given us an unexpected window of opportunity to reconsider the path we are on and the motivation to help us change course, writes Jim Pettiward from Synchronicity Earth.