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How strong is your evidence?

... Learning from Conservation Evidence in Cambridge

Biodiversity conservation likely works best if competences are bundled. A world-leading conservation cluster is the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI). The initiative hosts different conservation organisations as well as parts of the University of Cambridge. Organisations like the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), BirdLife International, the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are all based in the same building which greatly facilitates inter- and transdisciplinary work.

Conservation Evidence synthesises and assesses the available scientific evidence to support the conservation practitioner in selecting appropriate conservation interventions. Such interventions (also called actions) are conducted by practitioners to benefit biodiversity and can be looked up in the book "What Works in Conservation" published by Conservation Evidence. As part of the University of Cambridge, Conservation Evidence is based in the CCI building.

In March this year I used the opportunity for a two-week stay at Conservation Evidence where I received a very warm welcome. The research stay was intense and productive as I had planned to follow my regular work and in addition exchanged knowledge, draft manuscripts and even ideas for future projects on a daily basis. This exchange happened during various meetings including a presentation by myself and discussion of research results which were much appreciated. Despite continuing own work I had the chance to step back and locate my project in a larger context. Also, I got valuable insights into which direction evidence-based conservation management is heading (and also the challenges it faces) at the moment. For example, I learned about two new tools that are currently developed to better support conservation practice in future. All in all a very productive and enlightening stay thanks to the financial support by ConFoBi and the great hospitality of Conservation Evidence.

by Fabian Gutzat (D2) 15.04.2019