Prue Addison

Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS), the University of Oxford
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Peterborough office

Analysis of international biodiversity targets to understand and maximize their relevance to the private sector

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS) are an academic research group based in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. Our work addresses the challenges that humanity faces in halting the decline of global biodiversity. We work at the interface of social and ecological systems, using a range of methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches to address key issues in current conservation.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. JNCC’s role is to provide evidence, information and advice to support evidence-based decision making that protects natural resources and systems. JNCC plays a key role in the UK’s terrestrial and marine nature conservation, which includes UK implementation of Conventions relating to nature conservation and the protection of the environment, known as Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).  This includes inter alia CBD, CITES, RAMSAR, CMS.  JNCC plays a role in helping businesses co-ordinate action to conserve natural capital, improve understanding of the links between natural capital and biodiversity, and expedite the use of existing research, knowledge and data in emerging natural capital approaches being adopted by businesses.  JNCC works with international organisations and networks to strengthen the complementarity between biodiversity research and business requirements.

Businesses are emerging as powerful partners in efforts to conserve biodiversity. Forward thinking businesses have begun to make substantial biodiversity commitments, seeking to manage corporate risks and exploit new opportunities. However, those that do so face a range of challenges in embedding biodiversity into practice, and so actively seek assistance from policy-makers and conservation scientists about how best to contribute to international efforts to conserve biodiversity.

This placement offers an opportunity to work at the intersection between science, policy and business – undertaking a systematic analysis of international biodiversity and relevant sustainable development targets to understand and maximize their relevance to the private sector. We are seeking a motivated candidate to undertake a systematic analysis of international biodiversity targets (e.g.  CBD Aichi Targets and Sustainable Development Goals) to illustrate their relevance to business, support findings with case studies, and analyse information to identify avenues to motivate private sector action on biodiversity.  

Key expected outputs would be:

  1. A technical paper designed to guide businesses wanting to take action to conserve biodiversity and report on their contribution to international biodiversity targets.
  2. A technical paper to inform strategic academic and policy engagement with the private sector on biodiversity.

These outputs are expected to be used to inform the strategic engagement of UK government, its agencies and MEA Secretariats with the private sector, and will directly feed into UK preparations for upcoming meetings such as business and biodiversity discussions at the Convention for Biological Diversity COP14 in 2018. A key aim will be to support policy coherence (SDG Target 17.14) for encouraging and enhancing private sector biodiversity action. These outputs will also contribute to research undertaken through Knowledge Exchange at ICCS, providing private sector advice on biodiversity measurement, evaluation and reporting. 

This placement offers a unique opportunity for the successful applicant to gain broad experience of working both within a UK government agency (JNCC) and with an applied conservation science research group (ICCS). We are seeking expressions of interest from early career researchers with existing permission to work in the UK. This 4-month placement will commence in November and will be based at JNCC Peterborough, with support from technical experts from JNCC and ICCS.

To discuss taking this opportunity forward please contact both Prue Addison ( and Matt Smith ( by Thursday 24 August. Please include your CV, and a brief statement (<200 words) about your interest in working at the intersection between science, policy and business, and how this placement will help you acquire new personal skills and knowledge. If selected you will be asked to prepare a Valuing Nature Placement application by Monday 4 September, which will then be considered for funding by the Valuing Nature Program.

Research provider
Research user (business)
Research user (policy)
Research user (practitioner)
Economic Research
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Research Area: 
Urban ecosystems