The Biodiversity Pathways project, which aims to understand future biodiversity change under a range of environmental and socioeconomic scenarios, is seeking stakeholder input to inform its development.

Models that predict future biodiversity trajectories are powerful tools for exploring the consequences of long-term environmental change. A new opportunity to develop a comprehensive modelling framework to predict biodiversity pathways for the UK, launched today, will support policymakers and practitioners by informing management decisions.

Biodiversity Pathways is a collaborative initiative between the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the University of Cambridge and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The project team is seeking wider collaboration and input from a range of stakeholders including academics, conservation agencies, environmental non-governmental organisations and policy makers. 

By bringing UK stakeholders together, the project seeks answers to key questions, notably:

  • Which drivers of biodiversity change are going to be important over the next few decades, and should therefore be included in our models? 
  • Which approaches for building future scenarios of socioeconomic and environmental change would be most useful for conservation policy decision-making? 
  • What policy actions are needed to achieve a nature-positive future?
  • What might enable or hinder the process of getting there? 

Project Investigator Nick Isaac from UKCEH comments: "Biodiversity models can play an important role in mapping paths toward a sustainable future for all. The outcome of the work will hopefully feed into future policy and management decisions, enabling the right pathway to be taken to 'bend the curve' of biodiversity, reversing the current trajectory of biodiversity loss.”

Chris Cheffings from JNCC says: “After many decades of biodiversity loss, envisaging a future where nature is thriving is a huge global challenge. All four countries in the UK need to understand the possible pathways to a biodiversity-positive future and the critical decisions and actions needed to enable these pathways.  

"JNCC is committed to building on the excellent biodiversity monitoring and surveys in the UK so that we can use these data to understand likely futures and advise on the design of new policies to progress nature recovery”.

University of Cambridge partner, Will Morgan, comments: “For nature to thrive, conservation practitioners and decision makers must implement more of the things that work, and less of the things that don’t. Combining the evidence for what works with cutting edge modelling approaches will offer hugely valuable insights into the potential futures for biodiversity in the UK.”

Project partner Gavin Siriwardena, from the British Trust for Ornithology adds: "It is critical that conservation policy decisions are underpinned by the best evidence available and predicting the consequences of different approaches is a great way to make comparisons easily understandable.

"BTO and other partnership data sets have a central role to play in making these predictions for birds, and integrating new models of our data with complementary analyses and evidence summaries from our partners on this project will add a lot of value to what we can do."
There are many ways to get involved: attendance at workshops, developing collaborative spin-off projects or joining the mailing list. Please register your interest by completing this short form.

Find out more about Biodiversity Pathways via our dedicated webpage.