A NEW Oxford centre aiming to halt and reverse nature and biodiversity loss has been awarded £10 million.

The funding comes from the grant-making organisation, the Leverhulme Trust, which distributes approximately £100 million a year.

On top of the 10-year funding, the Oxford-based Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery will receive £5 million in co-funding from the University of Oxford.

Case studies will take place in the Scottish Highlands, in addition to working with international partners in Ghana, Malaysia and Peru, as well as the local landscape in Oxfordshire.

There are plans to increase the number of case studies as the centre develops.

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The centre will be led by Oxford professor Yadvinder Malhi.

He said: “There has never been more awareness of the urgency of restoring nature in our landscapes, our lives and our economic aspirations.

“I am incredibly excited for Oxford to have been awarded this centre, which will harness the expertise and insight available across the university and its local, national and international partners to address this urgent and timely challenge.”

Patrick Grant, the university’s pro-vice-chancellor for research, added: “The university aims to be an international leader in researching and helping to apply nature-based solutions to critical environmental problems.

“This generous investment by the Leverhulme Trust, alongside investments from the university’s strategic research fund, the Oxford Martin School and other valued contributors, will allow us to ramp up significantly our efforts at a critical time by establishing a new centre to research innovative ways to deliver nature recovery at scale, delivered with a range of partners from around the world.”

The Oxford centre will harness state of the art technologies and monitor progress towards nature recovery.

Studies will manufacture tools for developing scenarios of nature recovery in key landscapes, and work with financial partners to experiment with innovative methods of funding nature recovery.

Long-term nature recovery experiments in the Oxford landscape will also be established.

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The Oxford centre was one of three created through a hotly contested Leverhulme Trust 2021 award.

Anna Vignoles, director of the Leverhulme Trust, said: “Leverhulme Trust research centres will shift the needle on a particular topic.

“These centres are bold, interdisciplinary and embrace novel approaches that will reshape or establish a field.

“The [funding] round was extremely competitive and the trust board is delighted to announce it will be funding three new centres that are tackling vitally important issues relating to environmental sustainability.”

The other award winners are: Leverhulme Research Centre for the Holobiont at Imperial College London and Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe at the University of Cambridge.