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Beyond Tourism in Africa

How can local communities continue to benefit from wildlife if neither tourism nor trophy hunting are viable options? Over the past 30 years, tourism has funded conservation activities in many countries, especially in the wildlife rich countries in Africa. Photographic tourism and trophy hunting have provided significant benefits to rural communities who share their land with wildlife. 

However, all forms of tourism are extremely vulnerable to social, economic or political instability and changes in the international market. The shock to the tourism sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the vulnerability of a conservation model based primarily on tourism.  

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To prepare for a future in which communities might no longer be able to derive benefits from tourism, the Luc Hoffmann Institute is working with partners to identify, incubate and promote innovative ways of providing communities with income from wildlife, while managing their natural resources sustainably and improving their collective wellbeing. 

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Ideation

March 2019

Melissa de Kock, Senior Advisor at WWF-Norway for Conservation, Climate and Communities, suggests that the Luc Hoffmann Institute incubate an idea based on her work supporting community conservation in southern Africa. With climate change impacting wildlife and shocks to the tourism industry caused by disease outbreaks, it is becoming more urgent to “look beyond tourism and hunting for community benefits” to retain communities’ commitment and tolerance for wildlife management.

May 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway commission a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (IUCN SULi) network to explore models for supporting wildlife conservation on community lands with a focus on southern and eastern Africa.

Incubation

September 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway engage with and challenge innovators directly at the Business of Conservation Conference in Africa. Ideas and leads are gathered to include in an upcoming analysis publication.

Acceleration

10 September 2020

‘GOING BEYOND TOURISM IN AFRICA: Diversifying Community Livelihoods from Wildlife’ webinar is held, featuring an informational session about the innovation challenge and live Q&A, as well as short inspirational talks by Alice Ruhweza (Director, WWF Regional Office for Africa), Gautam Shah (Founder, Internet of Elephants) and Fred Swaniker (CEO and Founder of the African Leadership Group).

Watch the full webinar here

15 October 2020

More than 300 applications were submitted to the innovation challenge by individuals and teams from across the continent of Africa and around the world. There were 54 nationalities represented (a majority of them in Africa), and a vast age range from 16 to 87.

Aspiration

Identify and encourage promising new ideas and approaches with the potential to transform the landscape of conservation.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

What is wildlife worth?
Travel Africa, Jan-Mar 2021 feature mentioning the innovation challenge.

In the face of a global pandemic, how can conservation efforts reduce the chance that poaching will spread disease?
Oct 2020 feature story in Ensia

Beyond tourism: A call for business ideas that protect African wildlife, ecosystems
September 2020 feature story in Mongabay.

Looking beyond hunting and tourism for community benefits  
A thought piece by Melissa de Kock, WWF-Norway Senior Advisor: Conservation, Climate and Communities.

Diversifying local livelihoods while sustaining wildlife 
A review of 130 business models that provide some form of income to rural communities from wildlife and other natural resources and its associated Inventory of incentives for community-based conservation

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project timeline What we are working on now

Securing the Future of Nature-based Tourism in Africa: A Collaborative Platform

The Covid-19 pandemic has created multiple disruptions to the way society works: the near total suspension of global travel is one of these. Where global tourism revenues have been helping to deliver biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, the pandemic has dramatically altered the trajectory of many local economies.

It is no exaggeration to say that the collapse of wildlife tourism threatens to compromise decades of development and conservation work in nature-rich and emblematic parts of Africa. It has also made the frailty of nature conservation and livelihoods dependent on nature-based tourism increasingly apparent. How can we regain what we have lost while building a more resilient future, looking beyond tourism, for people and nature conservation in Africa?

Explore the impacts

Ideation

Play video →
May 2020

Watch the video from the 20 May 2020 convening

Incubation

June 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute invests USD 175,000 into the design process for the Collaborative Platform. The institute works with WWF-US, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a range of stakeholders to develop a Medium-sized Project (MSP) proposal for funding to support the further development.

July 2020

USD 1.9m funding is secured from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for implementation by WWF-US. WWF-US becomes the formal executing agency for the grant, but consultations are underway with African-based organisations to identify a host that will provide the Secretariat and lead the Platform.

August 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute, in collaboration with WWF-US, designs a detailed concept for submission to the GEF for consideration. This intensive process involves the establishment of a clear theory of change and a draft schematic plan to implement the whole initiative. Additional stakeholder consultations take place to develop and strengthen the Collaborative Platform.

September 2020

Commitments of USD 5,269,281 in co-financing received from: the MAVA Foundation, African Safari Foundation, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Maliasili, Resource Africa, Royal African Safaris, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). This funding serves to immediately unlock the GEF-allocated funds.

October – December 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-US work on the project document for the GEF, in this final stage of incubation for the Collaborative Platform. WWF-US submits this to the GEF in December 2020. The WWF Regional Office for Africa is confirmed as the host secretariat for the project.

Aspiration

The goal is to amplify existing fundraising efforts and support the activities of community stakeholders who are the custodians of the landscapes and wildlife, and upon whom successful tourism activities depend.

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Related resources

Developing a platform for sustaining conservation and communities in Africa 
The initial proposal for the African Collaborative Platform, drafted by the Luc Hoffmann Institute and discussed at the 20 May 2020 convening.  

COVID-19 and Conservation
A March 2020 blog post by Luc Hoffmann Institute Advisory Council member Bill Adams in his series Thinking like a human which inspired the institute’s COVID-19 response. 

COVID 19 and sustainable tourism: Information resources and links
A collection of resources by Dr Anna Spenceley including ideas to help resilience and recovery, market research and intelligence, impacts on tourism and destinations, virtual tours and ideas to keep us inspired, and more. 

Innovative business models for life on Earth
A Luc Hoffmann Institute thought leadership initiative pointing to possible new ways to sustain conservation and livelihoods. The initiative contributes to the third stream of the Collaborative Platform by helping to source longer-term measures to improve the resilience of African conservation strategies.

Building Back Better: a Marshall Plan for Natural Capital (external document)
A plan on reversing the decline in Sub-Saharan African GDP in Nature-Based Tourism Sector from COVID-19

Editorial Essay: COVID-19 and Protected and Conserved Areas (external document)
This special editorial provides a snapshot of how protected and conserved areas around the world are being impacted by COVID-19. For many protected and conserved areas, negative impacts on management capacity, budgets and effectiveness are significant, as are impacts on the livelihoods of communities living in and around these areas.

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project timeline What we are working on now

Innovative business models for life on earth

With more and more companies striving for impact, and non-profit organisations seeking more sustainable revenue models, the lines between the business and non-profit sector are blurring. What new sustainable business models will emerge for non-profits and impact-driven enterprises to deliver lasting and effective impact?

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Drawing from new ideas and new networks that grew out of a November 2018 convening, the Luc Hoffmann Institute has begun incubating a number of initiatives that make use of innovative business models to deliver environmental gains. The institute is always scouting for bright minds and ideas, and helps connect new approaches together. With its incubation model, the institute works with innovators in both non-profits and impact-driven enterprises to transform good ideas into concrete solutions for nature and people.

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Ideation

November 2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute publishes a thought piece by Judith Sanderse, PhD candidate

New horizons for non-profit business models

Play video →
November 2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute facilitates a convening on innovative business models for non-profits and social enterprise.

Incubation

September 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway engage with and challenge innovators directly at the Business of Conservation Conference in Africa. Ideas and leads are gathered to include in an upcoming analysis publication.

Aspiration

A new generation of sustainability-minded entrepreneurs emerges and fundamentally transforms the way society values and conserves nature.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Diversifying local livelihoods while sustaining wildlife
– A January 2020 Luc Hoffmann Institute analysis publication of over 130 incentives for community-based conservation.

New horizons for non-profit business models
– thought piece by Judith Sanders, PhD candidate

Wanted: disruptive entrepreneurs for conservation
– thought piece by Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development (ad-interim), Luc Hoffmann Institute

Looking beyond hunting and tourism for community benefits
– A thought piece by Melissa de Kock; WWF-Norway, Senior Advisor: Conservation, Climate and Communities

From crisis to solutions for communities and African conservation (commentary)
– A May 2020 commentary by Dickson Kaelo, Daniel Sopia, Damian Bell, Richard Diggle and Fred Nelson on the Mongabay website

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project timeline Uncategorized

The search for a multidimensional biodiversity index

What could revolutionize the way biodiversity data is collected, synthesized, understood and acted on, the way that ‘2 degrees Celsius’ galvanised action on Climate Change?

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In partnership with the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), the Luc Hoffmann Institute is incubating the idea of transforming how biodiversity is integrated into decision-making globally through a multidimensional biodiversity index (MBI). Learning from the successes and failures of economic and poverty indices, the institute is bringing diverse voices together to lay the foundations for the concept and raise awareness of its potential.

Who we are working with

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Ideation

The world faces global disasters.

2017

For the first time, the notion of a multidimensional biodiversity index (MBI) emerges as an opportunity to better inform decision-making in the environmental sector.

Incubation

Play video →


Luc Hoffmann Institute, UNEP-WCMC, and WWF convene diverse actors around the search for an MBI. Feedback following the convening indicates that the “single index” approach is feasible.

June 2019

“Some things are very difficult to count, but if we create an infrastructure for measuring biodiversity, then it begins to count for society and people start to see the impact.”

Pali Lehohla, former Statistician General of South Africa and Founder of the Pan-African Institute for Evidence at the convening on ‘Exploring a multidimensional biodiversity index’.

“This is going to be important in designing policy interventions that can affect the trend [in species depletion] and hopefully turn it back.”

Adriana Conconi, Executive Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at the convening on ‘Exploring a multidimensional biodiversity index’.

2019

The United Nations Environment Programme Statistical Division helps integrating the index in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) reporting and considers becoming the index’s official custodian agency.

Acceleration

2019

Several governments volunteer to conduct pilot projects in their countries (Switzerland, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico, Costa Rica); Several countries and foundations also indicate an interest in funding the development of an index.

February 2020

The Swiss Federal Department of Environment supports the development of the index for a three year project, and volunteers to have the concept tried in Switzerland.

Discussions begin with local actors, in Switzerland, Costa Rica, Viet Nam and Mexico on how to deliver pilot projects in countries to test the MBI.

Aspiration

Aspiration – biodiversity health – and business and societal responses to it – can be measured and easily communicated, resources are better allocated to regenerate biodiversity while ensuring human well-being.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Towards a multidimensional biodiversity index
A July 2019 video on the Multidimensional Biodiversity Index initiative. 

A measure to make biodiversity relevant 
A June 2019 thought piece by Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development (ad-interim), Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Disseminating the power of an index that would transform conservation efforts 
A March 2019 thought piece by Carolina Campos, Luc Hoffmann Institute and UNEP-WCMC research associate; pursuing an MSc in Environmental Economics at the London School of Economics.

One for all or all for one? 
A November 2018 thought piece by Carolina Soto-Navarro, Postdoctoral scientist, Luc Hoffmann Institute and UNEP-WCMC Science Programme.

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Biodiversity Revisited

If the decline in biodiversity is a problem, why have efforts to conserve it been ineffective? Is there a more inherent problem in how ‘biodiversity’ is conceptualised and managed that undermines actions? Biodiversity Revisited is the first comprehensive review of the concepts, narratives, governance, science, systems and futures underpinning biodiversity science since the emergence of the term in the 1980s. The initiative aspires to spark – in future generations of researchers – a new and more interdisciplinary set of pathways for research toward regenerating just and diverse life on Earth, and has resulted in an innovative research and action agenda.

Collaborating institutions

Related SDGs

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Ideation

2018

“What’s wrong with biodiversity?”

The Biodiversity Revisited idea is born.

Incubation

Late 2018 – early 2019

The team, governance, themes and approach to Biodiversity Revisited are designed.

February 2019

A robust governance is put in place for oversight and the #BiodiversityRevisited conversation thread is born on social media

March 2019

Cambridge consultation: first response to the Biodiversity Revisited proposition from an international test group of early-career and diverse professionals

May 2019

“Biodiversity Revisited is an exciting project. It offers an urgently needed opportunity to reframe the research agenda and the debate. In a time of growing global commitment to action for nature, it could not be more timely,”
says Jim Leape, William and Eva Price Senior Fellow at Stanford Woods, Institute for the Environment; Co-director, Center for Ocean Solutions.

Acceleration

September 2019

The Biodiversity Revisited Symposium takes place in Vienna, bringing together interdisciplinary thinkers including journalists and scientists from the natural and social sciences. This picture shows the early career essay competition winners who joined the symposium.

June – October 2019

The #BiodiversityRevisited conversation skyrockets on social media. Luc Hoffmann Institute Twitter followers triple from 1000 to almost 3000 followers.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute on Twitter

February 2020

A core group of 18 members of the Biodiversity Revisited initiative meets at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center to begin drafting an innovative, five-year research agenda in an environment that facilitates deep, creative thinking.

23-24 February 2020

At the World Biodiversity Forum, 20 members of the Biodiversity Revisited initiative, including many early career essay contest winners, meet at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center to advance the development of the research agenda.

February 2020

The essay compilation Seeds of Change is published based on foundation questions for the discussions at the Biodiversity Revisited Symposium in September 2019. The essays explore new concepts, narratives, science, governance and systems for a diverse and just future for life on Earth.

Seeds of Change

11 June 2020

A panel of three emerging, cross-sectoral leaders come together virtually with Melanie Ryan, Head of Programme, to discuss the development of the Biodiversity Revisited initiative as part of the WWF Fuller Science for Nature series.

Fuller Seminar video

1 July 2020

The Biodiversity Revisited research and action agenda is published, rethinking the approach to biodiversity research for the coming years, with justice and diverse voices at the centre of our efforts.

Research and action agenda

Aspiration

In 2020, engagement grew across the media – especially digital and academic – building on existing Biodiversity Revisited narratives. As a Nature Sustainability article published in August 2020 gained traction in social media communities, Biodiversity Revisited’s principles and messages found new and different audiences. #BiodiversityRevisited has been mentioned thousands of times on Twitter to date, with journal citations including in Cambridge University’s Environmental Conservation further fuelling online conversations as well as a feature in the NOMIS Foundation’s SPARKS magazine.

#BiodiversityRevisited

In 2021 and beyond, fresh ideas, narratives and engaged networks continue to transform into action through research, policy and practice for nature and people. Networks of engaged partners and participants further embed the Biodiversity Revisited story, ideas and new framings into their activities of teaching, sharing knowledge and designing global networks and projects for research.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Biodiversity revisited through systems thinking
A co-authored paper from Biodiversity Revisited contributors published in Environmental Conservation in January 2021.

Public Seminar – Sustaining Diverse and Just Futures: Insights from the Biodiversity Revisited Initiative
A November 2020 public seminar sharing  insights from Biodiversity Revisited, led by Carina Wyborn at the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Science.

Framing the Future of Environmental Conservation
Building on his August 2020 Environmental Conservation article, an October 2020 blog written by Professor Kevin Elliott.

The Need for Improved Reflexivity in Conservation Science
A co-authored paper from Biodiversity Revisited contributors published in Environmental Conservation in September 2020.

A Collaborative Process (subscription required)
An interview published in Nature Sustainability in August 2020 with the Luc Hoffmann Institute’s Director, Dr. Jon Hutton, and Head of Programme, Melanie Ryan.

Imagining Transformative Biodiversity Futures
A collaborative article published in Nature Sustainability in August 2020, imagined and written by a collective of authors from the Biodiversity Revisited initiative.

Research Agenda
On 1 July 2020, the Biodiversity Revisited research and action agenda was published. A culmination of the two-year Biodiversity Revisited collaboration, the agenda charts a course for more effective biodiversity research and action for the next five years and beyond, putting justice at the centre of our efforts.

Starting New Conversations to Re-think Biodiversity Research and Action
Five Future Earth scientists who participated in the Biodiversity Revisited initiative share their perspectives on the process and importance of rethinking biodiversity and collaborating to create the research agenda.

Fuller Seminar
In June 2020, a panel of three emerging, cross-sectoral leaders came together virtually with Melanie Ryan, Head of Programme, to discuss the development of the Biodiversity Revisited initiative as part of the WWF Fuller Science for Nature series.

Seeds of Change
A February 2020 compilation of provocative essays that formed the basis of the discussions at the Biodiversity Revisited Symposium in September 2019, Seeds of Change explores new concepts, narratives, science, governance and systems for a diverse and just future for life on Earth.

Biodiversity Revisited website 
A bespoke website by and for the initiative.

Biodiversity revisited – Biodiversity accelerated
A March 2019 thought piece by Jon Hutton, Director at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

The power of gathering
A September 2019 thought piece by Melanie Ryan, Head of Programme (ad-interim) at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Snippets from the Biodiversity Revisited Symposium
Short video interviews on the future of biodiversity with a few participants from the 11-13 September 2019 Biodiversity Revised Symposium.

Putting back what we’ve taken from the world’s forests
An independent thought piece brought to you by Colin Chapman (a Professor at George Washington University) and Claire Hemingway (a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation).

Blinded by our heroic fantasies?
An independent thought piece brought to you by Josie Chambers, a postdoc at Cambridge University and the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Is what we’re doing working?
An independent thought piece brought to you by Victoria Pilbeam, a Senior Consultant at Clear Horizon Consulting.

Bridging aspirations and biodiversity conservation
An independent thought piece brought to you by Dr Santiago Izquierdo-Tort, a Consultant at Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos and a Senior Researcher at ITAM Centre for Energy. and Natural Resources.

When is growth good enough?
An independent thought piece brought to you by Natalie Knowles, a PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo.

Does extinction matter?
An independent thought piece by Dr Niki Rust, a StrategicCommunications Adviser at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

The concept of ‘palimpsest’ to reorient biodiversity
An independent thought piece brought to you by Tlacaelel Rivera Núñez.

Perceiving the livingscapes we are within
An independent thought piece brought to you by Madhurya Balan, Collaborator at The Forest Way.

Biotic diversity revisited
An independent thought piece by Daniel P. Faith of the Australian Museum Research Institute in Sydney, Australia.

Revisiting biodiversity in a village of mixed perspectives
An independent thought piece by Carina Wyborn and Jasper Montana.

An Open Letter to Conservation
An independent thought piece by Elliot Connor, founder of Human Nature.

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Better nature

How can the world shift from a negative discourse of looming ecological disaster to a more positive, solutions-oriented discourse? The Better Nature initiative (formerly called ‘Conservation Futures’) offers a support platform to accelerate innovative ideas in the field of law, finance and technology to change the rules of the game in favour of environmental regeneration.

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In 2017, the Luc Hoffmann Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme co-created this initiative to explore fresh perspectives and new approaches to nature conservation, aiming to work with key actors to mobilise the most promising innovations.

Who we are working with

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Ideation

Incubation

March 2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and UNEP convene global actors from the communication, finance and technology sectors.

July 2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute refines the initiative in a global review process with 100 experts.

December 2018

Erik Solheim, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, endorses and sponsors the setup of the initiative, opening and presiding over its founding meeting in Nairobi.

December 2018

“Better Nature aims to secure a central place for nature and natural resources in new and emerging conceptions of human development. It is designed to contribute to the global efforts underway to accelerate the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As such, Better Nature is closely working with UNDP to explore adequate mechanisms for future collaboration.”

– Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

Acceleration

April 2019

The independent initiative receives a EUR 400,000 grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to take the initiative forward and establish a core team of three innovators. UNDP acknowledges the role of the initiative in contributing to the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The longer-term aspiration: healthy nature is central to all human activity.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Conservation Futures: joining the dots
An April 2018 thought piece by Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development (ad-interim) at the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Conservation Futures, purpose and design 
A February 2018 thought leadership publication by the Luc Hoffmann Institute, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Oxford Martin School on the Better Nature initiative.

Conservation Futures aims to drive radical new thinking on biodiversity conservation
An October 2017 news article on the United Nations Environment Programme website describing the initiative as driving radical new thinking on biodiversity conservation.

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Seeking consensus on biodiversity priorities

In 2020, governments will agree on a new global biodiversity framework for the next 10 years. How can key stakeholder organisations find a common approach and standard for deciding on biodiversity priorities, share guidance on mapping biodiversity priorities, and agree on a global map of biodiversity priorities as a basis for development planning?

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Seeking consensus on biodiversity priorities is a United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) initiative supported by the Luc Hoffmann Institute in its ideation, incubation and acceleration, with important inputs from over 10 further partners, including the National Geographic Society, the NatureMap consortium, and the biodiversity hub of the Science-Based Targets Network.

An initiative involving

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Ideation

Incubation

Acceleration

September 2019

Out of ideas and approaches developed in the 2017 and 2019 convenings, including global biodiversity maps to support advocacy ad implementation, the Nature Map Consortium creates Nature Map Earth to help governments operationalize targets for biodiversity conservation and restoration.

Nature Map Earth

Timeline ends here

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Framing the Future for Biodiversity
UNEP-WCMC’s post 2020 page.

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Trade, Development and the Environment (TRADE) Hub

How can we make the global trade of goods with high biodiversity impact more sustainable? 

The trade in wild and farmed species has great potential for creating long-term jobs and boosting economic growth, particularly in developing countries. However, overhunting, overfishing and overfarming can lead to population crashes, habitat destruction, and impaired livelihoods for local people.

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The TRADE Hub brings together over 50 organisations (industry, trade agencies, academia, governments and civil society) from 15 different countries, all studying various stages of the supply chain and able to reveal damaging links and constructive pathways for sustainable change.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute played a vital role in the co-design and development of the global theory of change that guided the first five years of the initiative’s work programme. The TRADE Hub investigates the trends and impacts of trade in wildlife, wild meat and agricultural goods, tracing their trade globally including Brazil, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Republic of Congo, and Tanzania. Mapping a plant or animal’s journey, all the way from its origin, through trading companies and to the consumer, reveals the full impact of trade on people and the natural world.

The results of the trade mapping will feed into recommendations on how to sustainably produce, trade and consume wild products and goods, as well as help companies to understand their full environmental impact. In addition, a modelling tool will be produced that predicts how shifts in trade routes affect both people and nature. Countries, companies and decision makers can use the model and help to make trade a positive force for sustainable development. The Trade Hub is financed by the UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF) and led by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Who we are working with

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Incubation

23-27 April 2018

First workshops occur to co-design the theory of change for TRADE Hub, gathering inputs from partners from each of the 15 TRADE Hub countries face-to-face, via surveys, and via videoconference. This is part of the core design for proposal submission to the UK Research and Innovation, Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI-GCRF) in May 2018. The proposal is to map the journey of a range of global commodities, their interdependencies with the wellbeing of communities and how patterns of trade influence positive or negative outcomes around the world.

Acceleration

January 2019

The UKRI-GCRF decides to fund the UKRI-GCRF TRADE Hub, led by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), GBP 20 million. A new global research hub of 50 partners in 15 countries is created to map goods with high biodiversity impacts in view of making trade sustainable. The institute helped the TRADE Hub to improve its plans, goals and strategies and played a major role in leveraging the GBP 20 million grant.

18-21 February 2019

Inception workshop Cambridge

The Luc Hoffmann Institute further contributes to the project theory of change through several workshops (on stakeholder mapping, impacts, log frame development and risk registering). This inception workshop is led by the Luc Hoffmann Institute and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).

July 2019

The Thailand Department of Development and Sustainability holds a workshop at the AIT in Thailand to harmonise the theory of change, impact, log frame and risk register for TRADE Hub.

Aspiration

Ultimately, the TRADE hub aspires to deliver impacts that change the way trade in wild species and agricultural commodities is undertaken in order to benefit both nature and people.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Do the words trade, biodiversity and hope belong in the same sentence?
A thought piece by Melanie Ryan, Head of Programme (ad-interim), Luc Hoffmann Institute.  

New research hub for environmentally and socially responsible global trade
A Luc Hoffmann Institute news piece on the TRADE Hub 

Making Trade a Positive Force in the World
A brochure of the TRADE Hub

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Navigating conflict over iconic wildlife

How can we better ensure that neither biodiversity conservation nor livelihoods are negatively impacted by conflicts over iconic wildlife? As human populations expand and natural habitats shrink, people and wildlife increasingly clash over food and habitat. These interactions drive conflicts between different interest groups with strongly held positions, creating some of the most intractable conservation challenges. Working to address deep-seated human-wildlife conflicts requires innovative ideas and approaches.

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To safeguard species and community livelihoods, the institute is working with Griffith University, the University of Aberdeen and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN-SSC) Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force to create an overarching standard for addressing conflicts over biodiversity.

Who we are working with

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Ideation

2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute, together with Griffith University, hold workshops to formulate a vision of “institutionalised good governance in human-wildlife coexistence in wildlife conservation”.

Incubation

2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute commissions a systems analysis study on “The state of knowledge and practice on human-wildlife conflicts”, driving exploration on a global standard.

2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and Griffith University convene stakeholders and community groups in Namibia and introduce an innovative approach to discussing and solving conflicts.

Acceleration

March 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute issues a new analysis on ‘The state of knowledge and practice on human-wildlife conflicts’. Compiled by leading specialists in the field of HWC, it points the way to developing a standard to guide and improve approaches to HWC globally.

The surprising new way to approach human-wildlife conflict: a new report

February 2021

After a drawback brought by the pandemic, the Luc Hoffmann Institute resumed work on the initiative to bring stakeholders together for a virtual convening in February. A group of 33 scholars, practitioners and innovators met to discuss the nearly two-year engagement in the initiative, reflect on reports produced about existing standards and identify ways the initiative can be continued to achieve lasting impact.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute brings together diverse thinkers to develop a standard for human-wildlife coexistence

Aspiration

2021 and beyond

This initiative is the nucleus around which a consensus for the value of a standard for human-wildlife existence can take shape among academics, conservation practitioners, and communities. The pilot and strong relationships that have been forged have paved the way for accelerated progress towards funding for the creation and uptake of a global standard.

Resilient Conservation website

Timeline ends here

Related resources

‘Informing the development of a standard for resilient human-wildlife co-existence: Report on rights, responsibilities and relationships’
February 2021 report by Harry Jonas of Future Law

‘Resilient human-wildlife co-existence: Background research for developing a standard’
February 2021 report by Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton of Equilibrium Research

Resilient Conservation project website

‘The state of knowledge and practice on human-wildlife conflicts’
March 2020 background report analysing fundamental governance questions and existing research on relevant standards.

Why we need a new process to navigate conflicts over iconic wildlife 
An April 2019 thought piece by Duan Biggs, Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. 

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The impacts on biodiversity of Synthetic Biology

How can different sectors have better-informed, cross-sectoral conversations to help deal with the rapid development of technologies that intersect with nature and people? Synthetic biology is one such rapidly-developing technology, where fear of the unknown can cause paralysis. This intersection of technology and emotions requires thoughtful and informed conversations that generate new understanding to avoid overlooking powerful new options.

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In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approached the Luc Hoffmann Institute to seek expertise in convening and co-production. The IUCN wanted to apply this expertise to its task force and technical subgroup on synthetic biology and biodiversity conservation that was mandated by the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawaii . The task force were specifically examining the intersection of emerging synthetic biology technologies and their impact on biodiversity conservation in order to inform the 2020 global policy development process. 

Synthetic biology is a complex and controversial field, with potentially large implications for biodiversity conservation, both positive and negative. This initiative was designed to increase understanding within the IUCN’s more than 1,300 member organisations of the potential range of impacts when synthetic biology interfaces with biodiversity and its conservation. It maps the different values, knowledge and positions related to synthetic biology to enable the conservation sector to play an informed role in the debate.

Who we are working with

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Incubation

February 2018

The institute invests CHF 120,000 in seed funding and provides expertise for the design of the taskforce, framework design and creation, and to boost the diversity of participation by harnessing expertise from around the world. This stage included workshops in Cambridge for technical and steering work, an open public ‘listening’ forum as well as follow-up work held in Brazil.

April-November 2018

The institute designs and contributes to three IUCN writing workshops, including the Taskforce Inception Workshop pictured here, which generates new network connections and bridges different communities of practice.

Acceleration

2019

In the above-mentioned publication on ‘Genetic frontiers for conservation: An assessment of synthetic biology and biodiversity conservation’, the IUCN says “Many thanks… to the Luc Hoffmann Institute for accelerating this work”. As a result of our work IUCN is able to reframe the problem, develop a co-produced analysis, defend the scientific credibility of this analysis against detractors and successfully develop policy recommendations for the World Conservation Congress in 2020.

Aspiration

The global conservation community stays abreast of cutting edge societal and scientific advances in synthetic biology in order to develop a position that optimises potential gains while minimising negative outcomes for nature and society.

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Related resources

IUCN website, Synthetic Biology and Biodiversity Conservation, Science and economics
The IUCN web page on synthetic biology and biodiversity conservation.

Is it time for synthetic biodiversity conservation?
A November 2016 article by Antoinette J. Piaggio et al. in the Cell Press Journal.