In search of the holy grail – the one true biodiversity metric

29 Sep 2023
In search of the holy grail – the one true biodiversity metric


Signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Biodiversity Framework promised to work towards halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity by 2030 – a bold mission, and one which has a plethora of sub-targets and indicators associated with it. How these indicators will scale from local to global and how they can be aggregated to track progress, let alone guide action, is an open question. Further, there is an increasing push towards Nature Positive at the organisational level – which also requires metrics to track and report biodiversity impacts, positive and negative, and for the nascent associated biodiversity credits market. Amid this complexity, where is our lodestar target and metric equivalent to 1.5 degrees and tCO2? Is it even feasible to think that such a metric could ever exist for something as spatially and temporally heterogeneous and complex as biodiversity? In this talk I explore these issues and share some ideas about ways forward.


Professor Dame E.J. Milner-Gulland is Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford. She is Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science in the Department of Biology. EJ works on understanding, predicting and mitigating biodiversity impacts, and monitoring and evaluating conservation interventions for their social and biodiversity outcomes. This includes large programmes on food systems, Nature Positive transitions, the wildlife trade, and social justice and equity. She aims to ensure that all the research in her group is addressing issues identified by practitioners and policy-makers, is carried out collaboratively with end-users, and builds the capacity of early-career conservationists, particularly in low-income countries. She has launched a number of initiatives which aim to change the real-world conversation around conservation, including the Nature-Positive Universities intiative and the Conservation Optimism movement. She is the Chair of the UK Government’s Darwin Expert Committee and a Trustee of WWF-UK.

The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery is interested in promoting a wide variety of views and opinions on nature recovery from researchers and practitioners.  The views, opinions and positions expressed within this lecture are those of the author alone, they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, or its researchers.
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EJ Milner-Gulland


Friday 29 Sep 2023 - 4:15pm- 5:15pm

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