Working together to realise nature's value

This blog was created as part of the original Valuing Nature Network (2011-2014)

Last week I went to Birmingham to meet with my communications colleagues from other initiatives who are working broadly in the area of communicating the value of ecosystem services. 

Together we address a mix of audiences from research, policy, practitioner and business arenas and we are always looking for ways to amplify our messages, make them more relevant to these audiences and join forces on specific communications activities.

The point of our meeting last week was to understand more about each others' work, understand the broader context and look at how we can work together.

To help us understand the funding context in the UK, we were delighted to be joined by Hannah Collins from the Economic and Social Research Council, who outlined the Council's latest ideas and requirements for social science research in this area.

Later we were also joined by Paul Rose from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee who attempted to explain the how the new Living With Environmental Change Ecosystems Task Force will work and what it will do. Although the task force is fairly new, it looks like the focus will also be on communications working across a number of research initiatives. So that is music to my ears. 

In the afternoon, Irma from the Natural Capital Initiative demonstrated some of her amazing work in which she went through literally hundreds of projects, programmes and organisations from across the world and arranged them by type and location which gave a really clear view of the amount of activity in the 'natural capital' space.

Interestingly there seem to be lots of activties with potential overlap, including business-led work which is good to see but very little non-governmental-led work out there. Certainly food for thought and I hope that Irma will be able to make some of this fantastic work available soon.

Getting towards the end of the day now, when we could have been flagging......but for the whipping out of the marvellous Ketso kits, courtesy of Jonathan from the Ecosystems Knowledge Network. If you have never come across this way of group working before, it is certainly worth a look - it's a hands-on way to get ideas flowing and recorded using 'leaves' and branches all stuck onto felt with velcro. And our ideas....maybe producing a short film, writing briefing notes for policy makers and the possibility of a joint event next year.