A global biological conservation horizon scan of issues for 2023

Knot flock, Liz Cutting/BTO

Author(s): Sutherland, W.J. Bennett, C., Brotherton, P.N.M., Butterworth, H.M., Clout, M.N., Côté, I.M., Dinsdale, J., Esmail, N., Fleishman, E., Gaston, K.J., Herbert-Read, J.E., Hughes, A., Kaartokallio, H., Le Roux, X., Lickorish, F.A., Matcham, W., Noor, N.,Palardy, J.E., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Peck, L.S., Pettorelli, N., Pretty, J., Scobey, R., Spalding, M.D., Tonneijck, F.H., Tubbs, N., Watson, J.E.M., Wentworth, J.E., Wilson, J.D. & Thornton, A.

Published: November 2022  

Journal: Trends in Ecology & Evolution Volume: 38

Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1016/j.tree.2022.10.005

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We present the results of our 14th horizon scan of issues we expect to influence biological conservation in the future. From an initial set of 102 topics, our global panel of 30 scientists and practitioners identified 15 issues we consider most urgent for societies worldwide to address. Issues are novel within biological conservation or represent a substantial positive or negative step change at global or regional scales. Issues such as submerged artificial light fisheries and accelerating upper ocean currents could have profound negative impacts on marine or coastal ecosystems. We also identified potentially positive technological advances, including energy production and storage, improved fertilisation methods, and expansion of biodegradable materials. If effectively managed, these technologies could realise future benefits for biological diversity.


This exercise was coordinated by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

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