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Credit: Jeremy Holden/FFI.

Sir David Attenborough to lead celebration of global conservation success

Posted on: 20.04.17 (Last edited) 20 April 2017

World-leading conservationists, including Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Steven Pinker, are gathering in Cambridge to celebrate #EarthOptimism on 22 April.

Given the crisis facing nature, it is all too easy to sometimes give up hope. Yet, around the world conservationists are winning battles to protect the natural world.

#EarthOptimism is a global movement that invites people to celebrate the many wins that the conservation movement has achieved for nature and inspire them to get involved.

To mark this year’s Earth Day on 22 April, world-leading scientists and conservationists are gathering in the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge and at ZSL London Zoo to showcase their success stories and offer ideas and inspiration to people who want to make a difference for our natural world. At both of these events Fauna & Flora International (FFI) will be presenting our positive work tackling marine plastic pollution – specifically microplastics (tiny pieces of plastic measuring less than half a centimetre in size).

Plastic pollution in the oceans is a serious and widely reported environmental threat that affects a wide range of marine species. While generally less well-known, microplastics form a major component of the plastic littering our seas and oceans. Last summer, however, conservationists celebrated the announcement of a UK government ban on plastic microbeads – one of the major sources of microplastic pollution. This conservation success story is a result of a concerted, collaborative effort between the public, NGOs, businesses and policymakers.

Earth Optimism Cambridge is being hosted by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focused biodiversity conservation organisations (including FFI) clustered in and around Cambridge.

Not only will the event host talks from a wide range of world-renowned conservationists and thought leaders, it also includes a Solutions Fair – open to the public – where visitors can find out how their behaviour and choices as consumers can have the biggest positive effect for the natural world, the planet and for a sustainable future.

Sir David Attenborough said, “While we cannot ignore the threats to nature, there are a growing number of examples of improvements in the health of species and habitats, along with benefits to human wellbeing, thanks to conservation action. But conservation cannot succeed through experts alone. The decisions that we all make in our day-to-day lives are critical for its success.”

Those unable to attend will be able watch live streaming of all the speakers at on CCI’s YouTube channel.

For more information visit www.cambridgeconservation.org/earthoptimism

The events in Cambridge and London are two of a series of #EarthOptimism celebrations happening on Earth Day, which will unite people across the world, from Washington to Hong Kong.

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Olivia Bailey

Olivia Bailey is Fauna & Flora International’s Communications Assistant. With a BSc in Zoology, and a long-standing enthusiasm for communications, Olivia is passionate about wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability.

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While we cannot ignore the threats to nature, there are a growing number of examples of improvements in the health of species and habitats, along with benefits to human wellbeing, thanks to conservation action.

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