Assessing the Potential of AI for Spatially Sensitive Nature-Related Financial Risks

There is growing recognition among financial institutions, financial regulators and policy makers of the importance of addressing nature-related risks and opportunities. Evaluating and assessing nature-related risks for financial institutions is challenging due to the large volume of heterogeneous data available on nature and the complexity of investment value chains and the various components’ relationship to nature. The dual problem of scaling data analytics and analysing complex systems can be addressed using Artificial Intelligence (AI). We address issues such as plugging existing data gaps with discovered data, data estimation under uncertainty, time series analysis and (near) real-time updates. This report presents potential AI solutions for models of two distinct use cases

Consultation response: a biodiversity metric for Scotland’s planning system

This response highlights how a biodiversity metric could support Scotland’s unique habitats and nature. It brings together evidence from the application of a statutory biodiversity metric in England to recommend a revised approach for a Scottish context. It draws on evidence from across the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery’s research community.

Consultation response: White Paper on environmental principles, governance and biodiversity targets

Focusing on the Welsh Government’s proposal for a ‘nature positive’ headline target, this response explores how supporting well-functioning ecosystem would be essential to achieve the objective of reversing biodiversity decline and then moving to a recovery of natural systems.

Mapping niches of extension service providers to support nature recovery – a policy briefing

This policy brief sets out the role of agricultural extension services in supporting landscape-scale nature recovery through a novel method of mapping organisational niches and conflicts in service provision.  It uses an example of advice on water pollution, and proposes changes to the provision of advice by organisations.

The Niche Mapper Analytical Framework – technical report

This technical report presents the Niche Mapper analytical framework for visualising the landscape of advice provision for nature recovery. Land managers access advice on land-use changes to support nature recovery, with advice offered by numerous organisations. Organisations have unique motivations for advice provision e.g., regulatory, environmental or financial, leading to crowding within the sector. The Niche Mapper framework, when applied to a set of advisory organisations will produce a visual representation of the niches occupied by those organisations. The framework may be applied at a variety of spatial scales and/or temporal intervals, resulting in analytically comparable outputs.

The results provided by using this framework can support effective policy making and divulge new research directions. An example of how the framework has been applied is illustrated in a case study of organisations providing advice to land managers for the mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA).

Oxfordshire’s greenspace-deprived neighbourhoods

Coordinating author: Martha Crockatt

This report explores Natural England’s Green Infrastructure data to identify neighbourhoods in Oxfordshire experiencing both socio-economic deprivation and poor provision of accessible greenspace, with a view to these neighbourhoods being prioritised in terms of planning, allocation of funding, and effort for improving quality and quantity of accessible greenspace.

Contributors: Matt Witney (Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership), Alison Smith (University of Oxford), Rosie Rowe (Oxfordshire County Council), Mark Hirons (University of Oxford),  Constance McDermott (University of Oxford), Camilla Burrow (Wild Oxfordshire) and Joseph Gent (University of Oxford).

Interdisciplinary Catalyst Activities – Field Work Tennis

In pairs, participants engage in back-and-forth conversations that are constructed to either accept or reject suggestions from the offering partner, with role-playing around an environmental research/restoration theme. This layered activity helps think through interdisciplinary critique as productive—rather than a hinderance—in research design and execution.

More information on the wokshop this activity was developed for here

More info on the Project: Innovative methods to connect and communicate between disciplines

Interdisciplinary Catalyst Activities – Object of Significance

Three groups engage in role-play, each group independently develops their own ‘rituals’ around a provided object, and these are then shared. The activity helps think about research and decision making when meanings placed on objects and ideas in the environment are different or in conflict between groups of people.

More information on the wokshop this activity was developed for here

More info on the Project: Innovative methods to connect and communicate between disciplines

Unlocking the power of engagement for nature recovery and nature-based solutions

The ‘Unlocking the power of engagement for nature recovery and nature-based solutions’ webinar took place on 20th February 2024 and was aimed at anyone working in the on-the-ground delivery, design and/or strategy of a broad range of nature recovery and nature-based solutions projects which aim to benefit both people and nature. This includes conservation, restoration, rewilding, urban greening, community gardening, sustainable forestry, regenerative agriculture, and more.

It is aimed at practitioners working on any project which seeks to engage a diversity of stakeholders and relevant parties at different scales including local communities, members of the public, farmers and land managers, non-governmental organisations, charities, businesses, local authorities, and government bodies.

The guide can be viewed here

Large-scale social surveys on people and nature relations: Report on the state of the art in the UK

Jasper Montana, Clare Ferguson and Tom Marshall

Collecting reliable and consistent data about people’s relationship with the natural environment is likely to be crucial to effective policy delivery by governments. Social surveys are a prominent tool in delivering this insight. In the UK, surveys on people’s relationship with nature are run by government bodies, nongovernmental organisations, academic researchers, and others.

This scoping assessment identifies the range of such surveys that are taking place within the UK (as of August 2023) and considers why survey data is being collected and by whom.