As climate change and population growth force us to consider how best to use and preserve the dwindling services provided by the environment, the Natural Capital Initiative believes there is a need to start understanding the value of all the services the environment provides us with. The UK Government is therefore developing frameworks that consider whole ecosystems, and has recently commited to implementing the 'ecosystems approach'.
The Natural Capital Initiative aims to help inform Government’s implementation of this new approach by identifying the gaps in science, policy and its implementation that are preventing an ecosystem approach being applied – and encouraging them to be filled. To achieve this aim they are working with government departments and agencies, NGOs, the private sector and scientific bodies.
The first meeting of the Natural Capital Initiative heard from speakers setting out their vision for a truly holistic ecosystem approach to managing our natural resources. Speakers including the Rt Hon Eliot Morley MP, Lord May of Oxford and Professor John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Advisor, took to the stage to urge policy-makers, natural and social scientists to work far more closely together to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
Presentations from Tesco, Eurostar, Centrica, Water UK and the National Farmers Union highlighted private sector action towards improving its impact on the environment. Business responds to consumer demand, but Richard Brown, CEO of Eurostar, stressed that business should also be leading the way and not waiting for legislation to force companies to take action.
The organising partners of the Natural Capital Initiative are the Institute of Biology, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, British Ecological Society and the Science Council.
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Natural Capital Initiative
British Ecological Society