Biodiversity plays a vital role in the provision of Ecosystem Services (ES), including as a support to other ES (e.g., through microorganisms promoting soil fertility), providing direct ES (e.g., through pollination of crops) and being itself a final well-being bearing good (e.g., birds recognized for their aesthetic value). The objective of Project 9 is to integrate biodiversity conservation within a whole ecological-energy system by (i) establishing biodiversity constraints on the potential locations of energy infrastructure (Project 5), and (ii) developing appropriate biodiversity metrics for measuring impacts of energy scenarios.
We will first develop land use planning rules based on the Making Space for Nature report which provides guidelines for spatial landscape planning so as to establish a UK-wide ecological network that supports biodiversity. These rules will be incorporated as constraints within Project 5 so as to minimize conflict between biodiversity conservation and the locations of energy infrastructure. We will next develop biodiversity metrics that go beyond simple measures of species richness (e.g., bird richness used in the UKNEA) by utilizing the Essential Biodiversity Variables that were developed by GEOBON as a way to integrate biodiversity within international policy initiatives including CBD and IPBES.
The metrics developed will be used in Project 11 to map potential changes in biodiversity under alternative energy scenarios, facilitating analysis of the trade-offs between maintaining healthy ecosystems and clean, secure and affordable energy.
Reader in the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL
Professor of Environmental Economics and Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute, University of Exeter
Professor of Geography, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia