Conservation Policy and Practice - WCON5450

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Zoe Davies checkmark-circle


The module will examine the way in which biodiversity conservation activities are widely implemented in practice and on the ground, particularly by organisations for which conservation is not the primary focus. As such, relevant regulatory and voluntary principles that govern the conservation actions of businesses and governments will be explored, alongside some of the more influential multilateral conservation policies.
The pathways by which scientific evidence is integrated into policy and practice will be illustrated using some case studies. Consultation processes, as well as the role of government and non-government organisations in formulating and implementing policy and practice will be explored.
Ultimately, the goal of the module is to better equip students to practice conservation in a non-conservation organisational setting once they have completed their programmes.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


BSc Wildlife Conservation
BSc Human Geography
BSc Environmental Social Science
BSc Human Ecology
Also available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Case-study (2,000 words) (30%)
Examination, 2-hour (70%)

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (24 hour window)**

Reassessment method:
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Indicative reading

Cardinale, Primack, Donovan and Murdoch (2019) Conservation Biology
Oldfield (2003) The trade in wildlife regulation for conservation
Bowman (2010) Lyster's International Wildlife Law
Balmford et al. (2005) The Convention on Biological Diversity's 2010 Target. Science 307(5707)
Butchart et al. (2010) Global Biodiversity: Indicators of Recent Declines. Science 328(5982)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Describe key multilateral international policy agreements that are directly relevant to biodiversity conservation (e.g. the CBD, CITES, CMS, UNCCD, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals), and critically evaluate their importance for conservation
8.2 Understand and explain key mechanisms through which governments, business and non-governmental organisations engage with biodiversity impacts in practice (e.g. regulatory compliance, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Management Systems, Corporate Responsibility programmes, Supply Chain management)
8.3 Explain how governments, business and non-governmental organisations contribute to the process for the negotiation and agreement of conservation policy targets (e.g. the Aichi Targets and their post-2020 successors), as well as monitoring progress towards those targets
8.4 Demonstrate a critical awareness of the prominent tools and methods used by governments, business and non-governmental organisations in evaluating, managing and mitigating their biodiversity impacts.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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