Major new partnership for The Nature Conservancy and the Oxford Martin School: Three-year project to focus on building resilience to climate change

22 June 2016

Climate_Partnership_Adobe Stock_estivillml
© AdobeStock/estivillml

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Oxford Martin School have joined forces for a major new scientific partnership to understand better how extreme weather events and human actions will both influence, and be influenced by, our changing climate.

This ground-breaking collaboration will bring together one of the world’s largest and most respected conservation organisations with the cutting-edge interdisciplinary research of the Oxford Martin School, led by Professor Myles Allen, Professor Yadvinder Malhi, and Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland.

The Oxford Martin TNC Climate Partnership will address the need to improve our understanding of the effects of climate change on ecosystems and also the impact of human response to those changes. The initial focus is on research in South America where work is designed to inform land management decisions, such as reforestation efforts.

In announcing the partnership, Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, said: “Our new partnership with the Oxford Martin School combines The Nature Conservancy’s expertise from our on-the-ground conservation work on five continents with the academic strengths of the Oxford Martin School, a globally renowned leader in climate change research. We hope this will be the first step in a long and productive collaboration.” Mr Tercek went on to acknowledge the Partnership’s sponsors, Roy and Diana Vagelos, “whose generosity made this partnership possible.”

Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, said: “The combined team from the Oxford Martin School and The Nature Conservancy has the potential to make major inroads in deepening our understanding of how climate change and our efforts to mitigate it will also have an impact on important areas of biodiversity. I am confident that our exciting research collaboration will contribute to better understanding of climate change and the long-term conservation of vital ecosystems. By joining forces we have greatly improved our ability to tackle a vital global issue.”

The first three years of the partnership will focus on three key areas: extreme weather events, extending the University of Oxford’s existing weather@home project to the Amazon region; complex tropical biospheres, developing and applying a complex model to the Amazon region to understand the impacts of extreme weather events on ecosystem services and biodiversity; and resilient land-use planning in Brazil, exploring robust strategies for achieving Brazil’s reforestation targets.

The project runs initially from 2016-2019 and both organisations are looking to create a long term research partnership. For more detailed information about the project, visit the programme page for the Oxford Martin TNC Climate Partnership

Oxford Martin School researchers and Peter Wheeler of The Nature Conservancy introduce the project in our new video.