Social scientists join University's delegation to UN biodiversity conference (COP15)

Researchers from across Oxford's Social Sciences Division are among the University's first ever delegation to the United Nations Conference of the Parties for Biodiversity (COP15), which launches today in Montreal, Canada.

COP15 will convene governments from nearly 200 countries to agree to a new set of goals to tackle the biodiversity crisis over the next decade. A number of Oxford academics - including several social scientists - are attending to help ensure the new framework is ambitious enough to not only halt but also reverse the global decline in species. 

Despite on-going efforts, biodiversity is rapidly deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to only worsen further with business-as-usual scenarios. The core aim of COP15 is to secure agreement for an updated global action plan for nature through the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework process. The framework sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.

Professor Amy Bogaard

Amy Bogaard is Professor of Neolithic and Bronze Age Archaeology and current head of the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology. Her research focuses on the nature of early farming and its wider ecological and social consequences. She said:

The biodiversity crisis is a global problem and requires coordinated action at that scale. I am keen to gauge how archaeologists can help improve understanding of the causes of biodiversity change over time. This deep-time perspective can inform action to reverse biodiversity loss in the future.

Meet all our delegates and read the full story on


You can follow Oxford’s on-the-ground coverage at COP15 through the Conservation Optimism (@ConservOptimism) and Nature-based Solutions Initiative (@NatureBasedSols) Twitter channels. You can also follow the conference using the hashtag #COP15 on social media. All sessions at COP-15 will be streamed live at and the main schedule is also available.