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New project to understand pathways to thriving nature

News Item 2024

A project which aims to understand future biodiversity change under a range of environmental and socioeconomic scenarios – Biodiversity Pathways – has recently launched, and is seeking stakeholder input to inform its development.

Models that predict future biodiversity trajectories are powerful tools for forecasting and exploring the consequences of these long-term environmental changes. The Biodiversity Pathways project will develop a modelling framework to produce both pathways and scenarios for UK nature, and will support policy makers and practitioners by evaluating the consequences of different policy and societal choices.

Scenarios will link particular socioeconomic choices to their likely outcomes for land use and nature. By clearly setting out what works, and what doesn’t, for nature, policies can be implemented which support biodiversity gain. JNCC runs multiple species' surveys in partnership with NGOs and academic institutions, such as the Breeding Bird Survey and the National Plant Monitoring Scheme. This new project will use the insights that have been generated within those surveys to help produce likely future trajectories, and we will also be considering how more local surveys can improve forecasting.

After many decades of biodiversity loss, envisaging a future where nature is thriving is a huge global challenge, and one which needs the involvement of multiple stakeholders.  All four countries in the UK need to understand the possible pathways to a biodiversity-positive future and the critical decisions and actions needed to enable these pathways.

JNCC’s strategy 'Together for Nature' sets out the need for robust scientific evidence and advice to help decision makers turn science into action for nature to guide the UK on a sustainable path. Given that these challenges occur across the UK, JNCC is the ideal UK-wide nature conservation body to bring together all the stakeholders and link new scientific models, species data, and policy outcomes.

Biodiversity Pathways is a collaborative initiative between the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the University of Cambridge and JNCC.

The project team is seeking wider collaboration and input from a range of stakeholders including academics, conservation agencies, environmental non-governmental organisations and policy makers.

By bringing UK stakeholders together, the project seeks answers to key questions, notably:

  • Which drivers of biodiversity change are going to be important over the next few decades, and should therefore be included in our models?
  • Which approaches for building future scenarios of socioeconomic and environmental change would be most useful for conservation policy decision-making?
  • What policy actions are needed to achieve a nature-positive future?
  • What might enable or hinder the process of getting there?

To find out more about the project and to register your interest, visit the Biodiversity Pathways project webpage. 

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