Climate change and challenges for conservation - Grantham Briefing Paper 13

Topics: Impacts and adaptation
Type: Briefing paper
Publication date: July 2015



butterfly Authors: Dr Maria Dickinson, Professor Iain Colin Prentice, and Professor Georgina Mace (UCL)

Climate change is predicted to have major implications for species and ecosystems, acting as a driver of biodiversity loss in its own right and amplifying the effects of existing threats. It differs from other threats, such as land-use change or over-exploitation, in the global extent and pervasive nature of its potential impacts on biodiversity. This briefing paper asks, to what extent does climate change require a re-think of conservation policy, planning and practice?

The headlines

  • Biodiversity has been significantly depleted by non-climatic factors, such as land-use change. Climate change will exacerbate this loss and compromise ecosystem integrity.
  • Integrated approaches will be necessary to evaluate species’ responses to climate change, which will be more complex and more uncertain than range shifts alone.
  • This paper recommends applying new perspectives to traditional conservation practices. A global and flexible approach to biodiversity protection and resource management may be needed for successful conservation policy and planning.

Download now: Climate change and challenges for conservation - BP13


  1. Executive summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Current and past responses to climate change
  4. Lessons for conservation in a climate change context
  5. Conclusions and recommendations
  6. Acknowledgements

Related content

  • Our work : The impact of climate change on ecosystems

View all Grantham Briefing Papers