GCRF Workshop 'SDG Interactions - The role of Environmental Science

Monday, 4th September 2017 to Tuesday, 5th September 2017

The call for registration to attend and present at the GCRF community workshop ‘SDG Interactions – the role of environmental science’ is now live on the NERC website.

The workshop is open to attendees from across the UK research community who are interested in applying to the 2nd GCRF collective fund call Interdisciplinary Research Hubs to Address Intractable Development Challenges and are seeking to build collaboration with the UK environmental science community in order to develop a GCRF Hub proposal.

The aims of the workshop are as follows:

  • Inform attendees about the Global Challenges Research Fund and the 2nd collective fund call Interdisciplinary Research Hubs to Address Intractable Development Challenges.
  • Share experience and best practice in Official Development Assistance research, forming equitable partnerships, developing interdisciplinary research programmes and delivering large scale hub investments.
  • Discuss and identify opportunities for the UK environmental science community to engage in the 2nd GCRF collective fund call and facilitate links between, academics, international development practitioners, beneficiaries and users across a range of disciplines.

The deadline for registration to present at the event is 16:00 on 7th August 2017.

The deadline for registration to attend the event is 16:00 on 14th August 2017.

Keynote Lecture Series: "An optimist’s guide to managing ecosystem services"

Wednesday, 6th September 2017 - 17:30 to 20:30

This Valuing Nature Keynote Lecture will be given by Tom Oliver, Associate Professor in Landscape Ecology at the University of Reading. This 45 minute lecture will be followed by a panel discussion, Q&A and light refreshments. Members of the panel are Georgina Mace, Michael Winter, Charles Godfray and Rob Fish.

Lecture Title: An optimist’s guide to managing ecosystem services

Venue - The Edinburgh Room (QA075), Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, 30 Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS     Travel and Directions    Campus Map

Lecture Abstract

"Traditional conservation based on moral imperatives hasn’t worked. The new paradigm in conservation is to engage, rather than shun, the neoliberal market system by quantitatively integrating the value of nature into economic decision making.  Ecosystem services provided by nature are measured and this information is brought to bear on land use decisions, increasingly through monetary valuation”. We might think that this is a rational, pragmatic approach to conservation, compared to the naive optimism of ‘traditional’ approaches. Yet, is it equally idealistic? For example, how do we pick and prioritise which ecosystem services we want in a given location? How do we measure all the services that are important for society, not just a select few that are more amenable to measurement? How can we value and plan for the resilience of ecosystem services under environmental perturbations (e.g. extreme weather events, disease outbreaks etc.) that are likely to occur in the future? In this lively presentation, I will use selected scientific examples to make the case that seeking solely a quantitative economic approach to ecosystem service management is naïve and unrealistic. A reality check is needed, because whilst the advancement of quantitative accounting and valuation methodologies is still necessary, there is an urgent need to look towards more systemic and transdisciplinary approaches if we are to safeguard essential biodiversity and ecosystem services under accelerating global change in the Anthropocene. 

Biography - Tom Oliver

Dr Tom Oliver is Associate Professor of Landscape Ecology and Research Division Leader for Ecology and Evolution at the University of Reading. He sits on the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee in a role advising on socioecological systems. Tom's research focuses on analysis of large ecological datasets to inform upon spatiotemporal patterns in biodiversity and ecosystem services. For example, using long-term species monitoring data to understand how species respond to the interacting effects of land use and climate change. He is also interested application of in this science by bridging the gaps between theory, evidence, policy and practical action; for example, by providing tools to help decision makers integrate biodiversity conservation into land management decisions. He has worked on developing spatiotemporal indicators for national biodiversity and ecosystem services and, more recently, on producing indicators for the resilience of ecosystem functions provided by species.


The 45 minute lecture will be followed by responses from the following Panelists:

Michael Winter (Chair) Professor of Land Economy and Society, Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (University of Exeter). Member of Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team

Georgina Mace - Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, and Head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London.

Charles Godfray - Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food and co-leads the Oxford Martin Restatement Project. Member of Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team

Rob Fish  - Reader in Human Ecology at the University of Kent. Member of Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team 

Delegates will be encouraged to take part in a Q&A session to round off the evening.

Light refreshments will be available.

Register HERE


Valuing Nature Annual Conference 2017

Wednesday, 18th October 2017 - 12:00 to Thursday, 19th October 2017 - 15:30


This conference brings together people from diverse research areas and from business, policy and practice – all with the common goal of tackling Valuing Nature challenges.  Come along to:

  • Catch up on UK and international research findings and innovative applications of Valuing Nature approaches
  • Participate in interactive sessions with freedom to think creatively and critically about Valuing Nature and learn and share experiences
  • Understand the developing evidence base and emerging new concepts arising that can help to inform decision making
  • Help shape the future Valuing Nature agenda for research and application in the UK and internationally
  • Showcase your new findings, tools or communications and share your  views and perspectives on this dynamic and growing area of research and practice

Outline Programme

Wednesday 18 October   12:00 – 17:30  

  • Opening Keynote from Professor Georgina Mace
  • Afternoon tea including networking, posters, demos, videos, activities & speakers’ corner
  • Parallel sessions: deep dive panel and discussion sessions on
    • The role of the environment in human health & wellbeing
    • Valuing ecosystem services & avoiding tipping points
  • Networking Dinner - South Hall, Edinburgh University - 19:30

Thursday 19 October   09:00 – 15:30

  • Presentations of UK and international research on Valuing Nature
  • Interactive sessions for sharing experience and building understanding

There is no charge to attend the conference and we will provide a light evening meal (not including drinks, cash bar available) but you will need to book and pay for your own travel and accommodation.

Full details available here 

Project Scoping Workshop - UK-Colombia programme in sustainable tropical agricultural systems

Monday, 30th October 2017 to Thursday, 2nd November 2017

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) are pleased to announce a new UK-Colombia programme in sustainable tropical agricultural systems supported by the Newton-Caldas Fund.

Proposals for the pump-priming phase of this call will be developed at a Project Scoping Workshop to be held at CIAT Headquarters in Cali, Colombia, on 30 October - 2 November 2017.

Applications for academic participation in this workshop are now open:

The Association of Applied Biologists - Sustainable Intensification Conference

Tuesday, 28th November 2017 to Thursday, 30th November 2017

Announcement and Call for Papers

A 3-day conference at Rothamstead Research, Harpenden, Herts, UK.

Full information and registration available on the Association of Applied Biologists website or on the conference flier

Agriculture accounts for around 70% of the UK land area. It plays an essential role in the rural economy not only through the production of food and other agricultural outputs, but in the delivery of a wide range of additional ecosystem services and environmental outcomes. These include the provision of clean water, the regulation of air quality, flooding, climate and nutrient cycles, biodiversity, cultural, aesthetic and recreational value.

In addition, the global food supply system faces an unprecedented challenge to feed a growing global population and food security is firmly on the political agenda. UN projections of population growth indicate that the global food supply system will have to feed between 9 and ten billion people by 2050 and, furthermore, the world’s population is expected to continue growing during the second half of the century.

The challenge for the agricultural sector is therefore one of sustainable intensification. This means increasing food production while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts and enhancing the wide range of interlinked ecosystem services that society needs from land. The UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has sought to address this challenge by investing £4 million of research through the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP) which is due to be concluded in November 2017. This conference will explore the outcomes of SIP and other relevant research.