Showing articles associated with Cécile Girardin

Dr Cécile Girardin combines years of experience in climate change policy analysis with a background in tropical ecology and thorough understanding of forest ecosystem functioning to provide a unique multidisciplinary approach to her work. Her research focuses on the potential for Nature-based Solutions to contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation. She is an expert on the ecosystem functioning and carbon dynamics of tropical forests across the globe, and their response to a rapidly changing climate.

As Technical Director of Oxford University’s Nature Based Solutions Initiative, Cécile works with an interdisciplinary team to translate science-based evidence on Nature-based Solutions to decision makers. 

As the Science Lead of the Oxford Biodiversity Network, Cécile works with teams across 20 Departments and Institutes to ensure the effective organisation, innovation, funding, and impact of biodiversity-related research across the University. 

As Director of Nature Based Insetting, a spinout of Oxford University Innovations, Cécile is applying the research on NbS to Industry, by evaluating the potential for nature-based insetting. She works with multinationals to estimate how ambitious net zero commitments can be achieved fist by rapid decarbonisation of operations, then through investments in Nature based Solutions along their supply chains, whilst increasing biodiversity and social equity (i.e. nature-based insetting).

Why is Oxford a good place to work in research related to environmental challenges?

Oxford is a centre of excellence for research on environment, ecosystem science, biodiversity, climate change, social science. The university harbours interdisciplinarity, provides convening power to address complex issues of the 21st Century, and supports scientists like me who are keen to work at the interface between research and practice. The Nature Bases Insetting team have had strong support and encouragement from Oxford University Innovations and our respective departments (SoGE, Zoology) to set up a spin out with the aim of applying the years of know how we have accumulated through research to practical solutions for Industry.

What is the biggest environmental challenge facing the planet right now?

Climate change, biodiversity loss, social justice.

Despite the challenges, are you optimistic about our future?  

Yes, there has been a rapid shift in ambition for climate change, biodiversity, and social equity since the signature of the Paris Agreement in 2016.

The recent surge of interest in nature-based solutions as a way to achieve net zero presents a unique window of opportunity to implement nature-based solutions at scale. Yet the focus on carbon as the main metric of success of these projects is dangerous for:

  • climate (offsets can be used as a way to delay decarbonisation + large scale monoculture plantations are not resilient to climate change or pest attacks),
  • biodiversity (we need to protect, restore and manage all ecosystems, and biodiverse ecosystems are more resilient to a rapidly changing environment), and
  • people (we often encounter issues around land grabs and land tenure rights linked to offsetting projects).   

To address this, we aim to ensure nature-based solutions are implemented along the guidelines presented by IUCN, NBSI, European Comission, etc. Including

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