Creating Conservation Priorities
'Conservation Policy’ takes two big research areas … and makes them bigger. While all aspects are important, a strategic focus is required to be effective.
The Corvus Centre for Conservation Policy’s work is prioritized through four Conservation Themes.
LAND USE AND BIODIVERSITY
Land use is a widely-used term, and it can have specific meanings in certain disciplines. For the Corvus Centre, land use is a general term, and it refers to how we build on, use, protect, travel across, reside on, and play on the physical land base and the waters that support it.
Key Issue - Land use decision-making is the primary vector for biodiversity loss (and protection), but we struggle to link the science, the policy, and the decisions.
Natural infrastructure refers to the facilities and systems that provide the services essential to sustain society, and which are principally provided or governed by nature. This encompasses the flora, fauna, landforms, and water bodies (the assets), the activities they perform as a part of their natural cycles (the functions), and the resultant safety, comfort, and enjoyment we experience (the benefits).
Key Issue - Natural ecosystems are increasingly recognized as providing vital infrastructure services, but how natural assets should be valued, catalogued, and protected by policymakers is unclear.
NATURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The change in our climate due to human activity has fundamentally shifted our relationship with nature. Concepts like ‘range of natural variation’ will become increasingly wobbly foundations as the climate crisis turbocharges the biodiversity crisis. Yet nature will also be part of the solution, as a key aspect of nature-based solutions will be those directed at the climate crisis, helping with both the mitigation of emissions and the adaptation to the new normal.
Key issue - Climate change is the paramount environmental issue of our time, and biodiverse landscapes will play a vital role in addressing it, but our practical knowledge regarding what that role will be is still lacking.
FINANCE AND BIODIVERSITY
The Convention on Biological Diversity recognized that a limiting factor of their last strategic plan was the failure to engage and mobilize the finance community. Governments are increasingly costing environmental impacts in budgets and regulation. Mainstreaming biodiversity protection means incorporation into the flow of public and investment dollars, which brings synchronizing economics and natural science.
Key Issue - The finance industry is moving forward to require biodiversity-related disclosures, but we lack usable, valid ways to measure biodiversity in this context.