Cambridge Conservation Initiative receives funding boost from Arcadia

Cambridge Conservation Initiative receives funding boost from Arcadia

  • Sir David Attenborough in conversation with Dame Alison Richard (Chair, Cambridge Conservation Initiative)
    Sir David Attenborough in conversation with Dame Alison Richard (Chair, Cambridge Conservation Initiative and former Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge)

The Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) has received an additional $1.5m of funding from one of its strongest supporters, Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The funding will be used to support innovative collaborations that integrate research, education, policy and practice for the conservation of the natural environment.

CCI and Arcadia

Arcadia’s mission is to support charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage, the environment and open access initiatives. The $1.5m renewal grant will be provided to CCI’s Collaborative Fund and takes the total support from Arcadia to more than $10m. The renewed funding from Arcadia has been matched by new grants from the Rothschild Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust, alongside earlier contributions from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the A G Leventis Foundation, the Paul and Louise Cooke Endowment, the Westminster Foundation and the Mitsubishi Corporation.

Arcadia has been a long-standing champion of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. Dr Lisbet Rausing serves on our Advisory Board and Arcadia’s extraordinary contributions to the Conservation Initiative help us make a real impact in delivering new solutions and ideas to safeguard biodiversity.

Dr Mike Rands, Executive Director of CCI

CCI and the Collaborative Fund

The Cambridge Conservation Initiative is a unique partnership between the University of Cambridge and nine leading internationally-focused organisations with expertise in biodiversity conservation: the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Fauna & Flora International (FFI); Tropical Biology Association (TBA); the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO); Traffic; Cambridge Conservation Forum (CCF); BirdLife International; and United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP – WCMC).

Biodiversity loss is more rapid and more widespread than at any other time in human history.

Extinction continues at up to 1,000 times or more than the natural rate, and threatens 35% of species.

These organisations share a purpose-built conservation campus – the David Attenborough Building – in the centre of Cambridge. Here, with 500 conservation professionals and academics working together in a world class conservation hub, CCI is fostering new ideas to help protect and save global biodiversity through bridging the divide between research, policy and practice. 

The Collaborative Fund is a signature programme of CCI and provides grants to address high priority biodiversity conservation issues. All projects must combine University academic researchers together with the conservation organisation practitioners.  

The Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between conservation researchers and practitioners, is transforming the global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and the natural capital it represents and, through this, helping to secure a sustainable future for all life on Earth.

Dr Mike Rands, Executive Director of CCI

Achievements of CCI's Collaborative Fund

The Collaborative Fund's achievements to date include:

  • Helping to double the amount of funding available to developing nations for species and protected area conservation under the Convention for Biological Diversity through the 'Trends and gaps in protection of the world's biodiversity' project. 
  • Enhancing leadership in organisational development among conservation organisations globally through the 'Building a network of institutional NGO capacity to support sustainable conservation' project, which has strengthened institutional capacity of organisations around the world to ensure they can deliver effective, locally-tailored conservation action. Over 1,000 people from 177 countries are using the tools and training available on, developed through the project.
  • Changing the direction of land-use practice on farmland in Uganda, for the benefit of biodiversity and food production, through dissemination of an agriculture extension guide for local communities and the revision of Uganda’s agricultural policies, borne out of the 'Farming for wild nature: integrating biodiversity and sustainable development in tropical agricultural landscapes in Africa' project.
  • Providing a research-based way for investors to implement REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) policy. The 'Integrating socio-economic data to improve the design and impact of REDD+ schemes' project developed and tested new methods for assessing emissions reductions from REDD+ projects. The methods are for use by decision makers in the private sector and others responsible for implementing REDD+ policies through ecosystem based approaches.