programme

Part of the solution

The global economy is dependent upon ecosystems. More than half of the world’s economic output – US$44tn of economic value generation – is moderately or highly dependent on nature. As nature continues to deteriorate, society suffers and businesses run more risk. If the current rate at which natural capital is being destroyed or degraded continues unabated, irreversible tipping points may be crossed, with far-reaching economic and societal impacts.

 
Our interdisciplinary research explores how we might value and account for nature, implement and finance nature recovery, and better understand the incredible potential of the natural world to help us find solutions to global challenges.

The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery 

The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR) was established at the University of Oxford in 2022, with an initial period of ten years. Its purpose is to draw on and consolidate the world-leading expertise of the University and its partners to address the challenge of delivering effective and socially inclusive nature recovery at scale, in order to support goals of reversing national and global biodiversity decline by the end of this decade.
 
Halting and reversing the ongoing loss and degradation of nature and its biodiversity are amongst the greatest challenges of our time. There is new political will and public demand to restore the natural world, but no previous experience of doing so at the scales required while also fully meeting societal needs. The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery is tackling this challenge by addressing the ecological, social, cultural and economic dimensions of nature recovery in a single framework, harnessing state-of-the-art technologies and thereby developing and testing an innovative model to deliver nature recovery at scale, and monitor progress towards this recovery. The work of the Centre is both empirical and synthetic, being tightly embedded in case studies in the UK and internationally, while also exploiting big data, Earth Observation, artificial intelligence and modelling to connect across scales and work packages. It is also be a hub for innovative thinking: our interdisciplinary approach unites leading researchers and thinkers from a wide range of disciplines including geography, ecology, social science, finance, economics, psychiatry, anthropology, artificial intelligence, statistics and Earth Observation.

The Centre is led by Director Professor Yadvinder Malhi along with an Executive Group including Co-Directors Professor Nathalie Seddon, Professor Michael Obersteiner, Dr Ben Caldecott and Dr Steven Reece. SSEE researchers involved include Professor Cameron Hepburn and Dr Felicia Liu.

Biodiversity & finance

Biodiversity projects at OxSFG

Providing environmental data for use in financial institutions is an important element of Oxford Sustainable Finance Group's (OxSFG) work.

Constructing and Scaling of Rewilding Tokens

Funded by NERC and Finance for Biodiversity (F4B), Constructing and Scaling of Rewilding Tokens explores the scalability of biodiversity and nature recovery tokens, and the construction of a tokens marketplace.

Rewilding tokens represent a verified unit of ecosystem ‘upgrading’ that could hold the key to making nature recovery investable and scalable. It has great potential to introduce more liquidity in the market and diversify nature-recovery investment portfolios. Yet, a strong market design is integral to scaling this instrument.

We are exploring the key building blocks of an investable and scalable tokens market, including technical needs, data feeds, and pricing mechanisms. We also analyse the demography of likely participants of the market and their drivers for participation, with the view of identifying levers for scaling up rewilding tokens.

The seedcorn project may build the foundation for subsequent, larger-scale deployment and research projects.