CCI’s distinctive contribution to conservation derives from the unique combination of a world class university that is active in conservation research and teaching, with the world’s largest cluster of conservation organisations that focus on biodiversity research, policy and practice.

“CCI has proved that when you bring the right people together within a global initiative, remarkable things do happen."

Sir David Attenborough

Building on each partner’s existing programme of conservation work, CCI joins these organisations together to tackle complex and challenging issues with innovative approaches, using a multi-disciplinary approach that cannot be achieved by any one organisation alone.

CCI is uniquely placed to feed new thinking and training into worldwide conservation practice and policy through the partner conservation organisations and their networks. Similarly the experience, knowledge and information from on-the-ground implementation of policy and practice is fed into CCI’s research and teaching.

Based on this, CCI adds value to biodiversity conservation by:

  • Capitalising on the critical mass of skills and expertise that exists amongst the world-leading organisations in Cambridge working on conservation issues.
  • Working beyond organisational boundaries through co-location and closer collaboration and convening.
  • Integrating research, policy development, capacity building to transform biodiversity conservation practice through authoritative insights and influence.
  • Creating a momentum to draw in others to respond rapidly to the big biodiversity conservation challenges.

The unique nature of the CCI collaboration means that people come together to try things that they may not have been able to try otherwise. This leads to multiple ‘lessons’ – both  successes and failures. CCI have produced a series of case studies to share with the wider conservation community that showcase select projects, catalysed through the CCI collaboration.

Case Studies

Case Study: Developing Linked Indicator Sets for Biodiversity

With global biodiversity in rapid decline, a continued objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity is to reduce its rate of loss significantly. Measuring progress towards achieving this goal relies on indicators of biodiversity, but a group of CCI partners realised that the existing diverse, but isolated, indicators were not enough.

Case Study: Developing a Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA)

CCI’s TESSA reveals the hidden values of land; you can actually quantify and value ecosystem services in a rapid way in the field. It shows which ecosystem services may be important at a site, and the benefits people obtain from them compared with those from proposed alternative land – uses

Case Study: Eco Certification for Tropical Crops

A group of CCI partners is working in association with the Rainforest Alliance to investigate whether the location of farms who currently produce certified commodities is optimal for improving impacts on biodiversity, and reducing deforestation and poverty. Their aim is to identify priority regions for enhancing positive outcomes, and to investigate ways to make the targeting of eco-certification more strategic.

Case Study: Developing Capacity for Conservation Organisations

Capacity for is the world’s first international support platform for conservation organisations. Developed by conservation organisations, the website provides support to strengthen continuing organisational development. By growing capacities in areas ranging from financial management and governance to strategic development and communications, these organisations are better able to accomplish their biodiversity conservation goals.

Where we work

The CCI Partners have more than 500 staff and work in over 180 countries with links to national NGOs, local communities, governments, intergovernmental agencies, business, and Multi-Environmental Agencies. In November 2022, a tenth NGO partner, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) joined the CCI.

“CCI is a powerful catalyst. Embracing students as well as established practitioners and academics, the genius of CCI is its innovative way of integrating research, policy, and action in one of the world’s greatest, ideas-rich environments”

Dame Alison Richard, Senior Research Scientist, Anthropology, Yale University and Former Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge