Human development can only be sustainable if it does not destroy the ecosystems on which people and wildlife depend. Yet, the global human population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050 which, combined with rising per capita consumption, will place unprecedented pressures on the planet’s support systems. Maintaining biodiversity in the face of these pressures is an enormous challenge and will depend on a sound understanding of the complex interdependencies between people and nature.
The Institute of Zoology has an established record in the assessment of natural capital and ecosystem services which are key to evaluating the contribution of nature to human well-being. Our research seeks to understand the relationship between wildlife and local communities, ranging from nomadic pastoralist systems in Africa through to large-scale livestock and crop production in the UK.
We are at the forefront of the development of new approaches to evaluate the impact of management and policy interventions on biodiversity conservation and development. Our overall aim is to develop effective tools that foster biodiversity and human well-being, in order to attain sustainable development goals alongside improved nature conservation. Our work aims to:
- Provide the science underpinning effective strategies to foster nature and human well-being on an increasingly crowded planet
- Understand and evaluate the economic and social value of biodiversity
- Understand the complex interactions between people and wildlife in order to foster coexistence
- Improve the assessment of economic and ecological impacts of conservation and development interventions