Drs Peck and Stewart are actively engaged in conservation projects in
Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Ecuador and have established conservation areas
that are now protected from logging and which provide a sustainable income
for local communities. These impacts are:
Conservation activities must be well grounded in solid science to be
effective. Our research
identified specific threats to the survival of threatened species in
Sichuan Province, China.
Research outcomes were used to create, maintain and monitor nature
reserves, ensuring species
survival. The revelation that human cultural and subsistence activities
were adversely affecting
threatened species led to successful promotion and adoption of beneficial
alternatives to these
behaviours. Our research provided the basis for technical support to local
capacity building and community development, empowering indigenous ethnic
to protect forest habitat for wildlife. LJMU-led research identified the
factors which adversely
impacted breeding success of threatened birds, creating opportunities for
the amelioration of these
threats and promoting conservation of threatened species.
Identification of rare plant species on nature reserves at Malham
(Yorks.) and Morvich (W.
Scotland) led to site managers developing sympathetic management
approaches to ensure the
species' conservation. These are detailed in management plans and include
reduction in grazing
and introduction of population census to assess management success. In
addition, incorporation of
the discoveries into plant guides has led to increased awareness of the
two species which in turn
has drawn naturalists to view and photograph them. Thus the research at
Edge Hill has led to the
conservation of and increased awareness of a rare component of the UK
Preziosi and his research group have taken a leading role in conducting
biodiversity research in
the Ecuadorian Amazon, working in collaboration with national and local
indigenous communities. It is critical to monitor and conserve
biodiversity in the Ecuadorian
Amazon and preserve this unique habitat for local, national and
international benefit. Preziosi's
research group have demonstrated that indigenous people can be trained to
accurately. The impact of introducing these new skills to local people in
the Payamino community
is that they have been empowered to locally monitor and adaptively manage
their own resources.
By educating local people about the importance of biodiversity, Preziosi's
research group have
changed the behaviours and attitudes of the community, leading to reduced
environmentally harmful practices.
Impacts: I) Improved provision of environmental services in
Belize, including the creation of plant
reference collections / databases and the training of conservation
professionals and students.
II) Land-management policy formation by the Government of Belize and NGOs.
Significance and reach: Over the period 2009 - July 2013 there has
been a step-change in the
quality of biodiversity monitoring carried out by NGOs and the Government
of Belize; including the
latter being better able to meet international reporting requirements.
Over the same period, 40
conservation professionals have been trained in Belize.
Underpinned by: Research into savanna plant diversity, led by the
University of Edinburgh (1996 -
Scientists at the Institute of Zoology (IOZ) led the development of the
IUCN Red List, the foremost tool for assessing species extinction risk. We
further developed systems to evaluate the status of biodiversity at the
national level (National Red Lists), quantify population changes (Living
Planet Index) and robustly measure changing biodiversity (Sampled Red List
Index), and global indicators of the status of biodiversity for the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These are used to drive
conservation policy and public engagement by Inter-Governmental and
Non-Governmental Organisations, and national governments, and underpin
measurement of adherence to CBD Targets for 2010 and 2020.
The Large Blue butterfly, formerly extinct in the UK, was successfully
reintroduced over two decades to sites in south-west England. New research
at the University of Oxford has greatly improved its conservation status
and identified key factors that determine the ability of this extreme
specialist to survive, especially in the context of climate change. Since
2008 this has led directly to new, larger and more stable populations, to
significant expansion of the butterfly's range into cooler regions, and to
new `races' with greater environmental tolerance. The research has thus
contributed directly to the positive upgrading of this species' global
The Sinai Baton Blue is the world's smallest butterfly, and is restricted
to the St. Katherine Protectorate in the South Sinai region of Egypt.
Research by Francis Gilbert's group on climate change and biodiversity in
Egypt surveyed populations of the butterfly for the first time and ensured
it received IUCN Critically Endangered status. The butterfly became the
focus of biodiversity awareness campaigns in Egypt: appearing on a stamp,
in Government-backed educational programmes in schools, and as the
flagship species for conservation in Egypt's most important National Park.
Current work contributes to international conservation of this extremely
rare species and its host-plant, respecting indigenous Bedouin knowledge,
benefitting their tribal community, and ensuring international
conservation strategies incorporate local pastoralist traditions to
sustain the genetic diversity of the planet.
A research programme in the Department of Landscape, University of
Sheffield from 1993 to the present has developed radically new types of
designed urban plant communities that support a rich native biodiversity,
embody low carbon, and contribute to storm-water infiltration into soils,
reducing urban flooding. These communities are simple to maintain,
cost-effective, and highly attractive. This combination of factors has led
to wide application in practice by government agencies, local authorities,
and by the public in private gardens. We were invited to apply our
approach in full at the London 2012 Olympic Park, the largest and most
high profile Landscape Architecture project in the world in 2012, and this
in itself has had great impact on international thought and practice.
Taxonomy is of key relevance to the environment, agriculture, food
production, and human health. However, describing all living organisms is
such a daunting task that it calls for new approaches. A DNA-based system
for species identification, called 'DNA Barcoding', is one such solution.
Imperial researchers identified DNA barcodes for plants in 2008, which
have since had impacts on the environment, health and welfare and in
commerce. The plant DNA barcodes have been endorsed by the Consortium for
the Barcoding of Life and have led to multiple applications ranging from
facilitating biodiversity inventories, helping authentication of material
(herbal medicine) for trade control in Malaysia, South Africa, India and
Nigeria, and combating invasive species and smuggling in Africa.