The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre is part of the UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) and is based in Cambridge, UK. We work in close collaboration with the UK not-for-profit organisation known as ‘WCMC’ to fulfil our allotted role in the international community.
We aim to put the best available biodiversity data and information in front of national, regional and global decision makers. Working with partners worldwide we bring together and integrate data and information on biodiversity and ecosystems. We then make sense of this information through rigorous synthesis and analysis to create a comprehensive picture of the state of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world.
Our Mission is to provide authoritative, relevant and timely information for countries, intergovernmental agencies, multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector to use in the development and implementation of their policies and decisions. In achieving this mission we are helped by our 30 year reputation for reliability which facilitates the sharing of data and other forms of information with specialist organizations around the world. We help verify the material drawn from different sources and integrate it into a coherent whole so that we can spot gaps and inaccuracies, identify patterns and trends and draw connections across sectors.
The Centre is recognised as UNEP’s specialist biodiversity and assessment arm, with a mandate to provide biodiversity related services to UNEP, the biodiversity-related conventions and their constituent party-states, as well as other bodies in the non-governmental and private sectors (decision GC.22/1/III, UNEP Governing Council 2003). Other, more specific mandates arise from time to time from Conferences of the Parties to biodiversity-related MEAs, especially the CBD.
UNEP-WCMC was founded in 2000 as a Partnership between UNEP and a UK not-for-profit organisation, WCMC 2000, whose principle objective was to provide UNEP with technical expertise in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This arrangement delivered to UNEP the expert services of around 80 outstanding scientists, together with a range of databases and technical platforms which, for example, underpin many processes within the biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements. The flexibility of this arrangement was one of its strengths, allowing us to respond to new global priorities as they develop. In 2010 the legal and governance arrangements for the Centre were renegotiated by UNEP and its UK-based partner and a new ‘Collaboration Agreement’ was introduced with the approval of the UN Office of Legal Affairs. These new institutional arrangements are designed to facilitate the successful collaboration so that it can continue for many more years to come.
IUCN founded the original Conservation Monitoring Centre in 1981 and ran the Centre until 2000, on its own to begin with, and with WWF and UNEP in the late 1990s. During this period the Centre created much of the global biodiversity infrastructure that we all rely on today: the Red List of Threatened Species, the Living Planet Index and the World Database on Protected Areas, to name but three. We still work very closely with IUCN; its team responsible for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species still work from our offices and we share a common interest in a wide range of globally important biodiversity issues, ranging from the World Database on Protected Areas, through species information, to the biodiversity-related MEAs. We operate a joint work programme which helps us develop synergies and minimize any possible duplication across our programmes.
At present (2010), the Centres’ annual operational budget is in the order of US$ 10 million. The Director and Deputy Director are UNEP staff and UNEP also funds about 30% of the Centre’s activities through its biennial Programme of Work. The balance of funding is derived from a range of sources that support UNEP’s strategic objectives including: biodiversity-related MEAs (15%); Regional bodies (10%); Governments (14%); NGOs (8%) and the private sector (20%). In addition the Centre benefits from in-kind support that reduces its operating costs. The most significant is the support provided by technology companies that donate or reduce the costs of computer hardware, software and maintenance. Finally the Centre benefits from the donation of time by a wide range of people, including library volunteers, MSc students and collaborating scientists in a number of universities and partner institutions.
We keep track of biodiversity, ecosystems and, increasingly, ecosystem services, at the national, regional and global levels, usually through one or other variant of the ‘Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, Response’ framework.
We would be happy to discuss your needs. Please see our statement of capability and if interested make contact with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are a trusted global repository, respecting the rights of those who share data with us. We do not claim any ownership of our partners’ data.
In order to deliver the best quality outputs, we work hard to build partnerships around all our work. For an individual initiative or project the list of partners may include any or all of the following: national governments, UN and other inter-governmental organisations, international and national NGOs, the private sector, academic and research institutions. With respect to some of the datasets we manage, these partnerships have prospered for over 30 years.
We provide critical information to global businesses so that they can reduce their footprint on the natural world. In particular we help them identify where they really shouldn’t be putting their feet at all... In exchange they help fund the development of specific datasets that are then made freely available through our web-services. The spectre of green-washing has never arisen in over a decade of working with the private sector, possibly because we work with global leaders in the business world and of course we never work with companies in sectors condemned by the UN.
If you are interested to support the work of the Centre in its mission, please contact the Development team via email email@example.com.
We integrate information about global biodiversity and we rely on a huge range of partners to help us harness data, information and interpretation – particularly at national and sub-national levels. We do not ourselves conduct field research or run conservation projects on the ground and we do not fund field projects or expeditions.
Unfortunately, UNEP-WCMC is not a funding agency. We are not able to accept unsolicited applications for funding for research or studies of any sort.
Job vacancies are posted on the UNEP-WCMC site at (SUPPLY URL..). Vacancy notifications may also be advertised and/or sent to intergovernmental organisations, international and national non-governmental organisations. We do not consider unsolicited applications.
We often hire independent specialist consultants to help with our work. Anyone with relevant experience can register to be included in our database of consultants; we use this to identify suitable consultants for any work we outsource. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
From time to time, where the candidate has full funding, we agree to supervise PhD projects in partnership with university departments. Any requests in this regard are best channelled through a university department and should be directed to email@example.com.
We accept applications for internships from individuals with university degrees, particularly where they can demonstrate a particular interest in the work of the Centre. If you are interested please emai firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately, we are not normally able to provide work experience to anyone who does not have a degree-level qualification. With respect to volunteers, we have an ongoing need for help with the cataloguing and organisation of our library and welcome inputs from volunteers. From time to time, other volunteering opportunities or projects do arise within the Centre. Please email email@example.com if you are interested.
With support from by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office and The Salters, UNEP-WCMC runs a scholarship scheme which supports exceptional students from developing countries who are accepted to study for the Masters in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge. Suitably qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for these scholarships when they are posted on the UNEP-WCMC site at (SUPPLY URL..) and circulated widely through a range of professional networks. Unfortunately, UNEP-WCMC is not able to accept unsolicited applications for funding to support capacity development of any kind.
Most of the Centre’s key publications since 1980 are available for free download in PDF format from our website, or from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. We regret that we are not able to service individual requests for publications
Our aim is to be the partner of choice for professionals working within the field of biodiversity and ecosystem management. We do not engage with members of the public as we are not a public membership organisation. We are not able to respond to individual questions from schools, students or the popular media.
As part of UNEP we are strictly non-partisan and we do not engage in political advocacy or lobbying of any sort.
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