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About this Challenge Team

Our challenge team, Biodiversity COP, works on engaging and communicating to a wider audience the challenges facing biodiversity, how that affects people around the world, and the solutions and initiatives striving towards making the planet more sustainable for all.

In particular focus this year is the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference Of Parties (COP) 15, being held in Kunming, China to develop the Post-2020 global biodiversity framework. This framework will be replacing the expired Aichi targets, which we as an international community failed to meet. We believe a reason for this is poor communication with the public on three key areas: the severity of nature’s decline; our dependency on nature and the services it provides; and the potential consequences of further natural degradation. This poor communication has hindered the engagement and pressuring of governments, which is fundamental to implementing the transformative change needed to halt the biodiversity crisis.

However, we won’t be focussing on all doom and gloom - although it is necessary to put the scale of the crisis in perspective - but, on the many contributions of biodiversity to all aspects of life on this planet and the co-benefits that arise from its conservation and restoration. These include adapting to and mitigating climate change; sustainable development and social justice of Indigenous peoples and local communities; economic security; and the maintenance of human health.

To this end, our team is currently working on delivering a few community engagement and outreach projects. Firstly, we will continue running “Unloved Animals Club” events advocating for animal species that are underappreciated but provide huge benefits to society. These events were a great success last year and this year we plan to extend the club to underappreciated species from other kingdoms, like plants and fungi. Secondly, we are planning a hackathon, in which teams of students will develop online platforms (such as websites or apps) to communicate in fun and engaging ways the many benefits of biodiversity, the challenges it faces, and potential solutions.

Additionally, we will share the latest biodiversity, conservation and COP-15 news via our instagram. Follow us on @ic_biocop_2020 to stay updated!

We are also always looking out for potential opportunities to collaborate on events and other activities.

Team Members

  • Benjamin Bowers (Cohort 7)
  • Aoife Cantwell-Jones (Cohort 7)
  • Abigail Croker (Cohort 7)
  • Hollie Folkard-Tapp (Cohort 7)
  • Deborah Greer (Cohort 7)
  • Alvaro Roel Bellot (Cohort 8) - team captain
  • Patrick Walkden (Cohort 7)
  • Ceri Webster (Cohort 7)