“And the winner is…” Looking back on a year (or thereabouts) of Conservation Evidence achievements

This blog post was written by Dr Rebecca Smith, Conservation Evidence Manager.

Last week we were delighted to receive the University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact and Engagement for our work to bring about transformational change in conservation by ensuring policy and practice are more effective through better use of evidence. We have worked with over 1,100 practitioners, policy makers, funders and others to support fundamental strategic and cultural shifts towards more effective conservation action. Our work has included: co-producing our open-access database summarising global evidence on the effectiveness of conservation actions; a book providing guidance to evidence and decision making; and a toolkit for generating, evaluating and integrating evidence to strengthen decision-making.

In June our open-access book Transforming Conservation: a practical guide to evidence and decision making was Highly Commended in the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Best Practice Knowledge Sharing Award.

Also in June, we were very pleased to hear that the Cambridge University team that produced our short film featuring David Attenborough won a CASE Circle of Excellence Award (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) for their work, from over 4,000 nominations from 27 countries. The team also produced an associated article on our global impact.

In May, Professor Sutherland was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, awarded for ‘substantial contribution to the advancement of science’ and a member of Academia Europaea

In April, Professor Sutherland received the ECI Prize in terrestrial Ecology for outstanding and sustained scientific achievements in the field.

These awards in 2023 build on previous recognition for Professor Sutherland’s work. In 2021, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours ‘for services to evidence-based conservation’. (Photo: Auckland Museum, CC BY 4.0)

In 2019, Professor Sutherland received Honorary Membership of the British Ecological Society, for his “leadership of Conservation Evidence which has revolutionised the use of scientific evidence by practitioners. His work on resolving the most important unanswered questions in ecology and in conservation, has inspired many other scientific disciplines to follow suit.” Honorary Membership is the highest award the BES gives, recognising exceptional contributions at international level to the generation, communication and promotion of ecological knowledge and solutions. 

We’re really grateful for the continued support from all of our collaborators, including our Evidence Champions. These awards wouldn’t have been possible without your input. We look forward to working together next year.

Wishing you all a happy (& evidence-based) 2024!

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