The natural capital concept has gained traction across much of the public sector in recent years following the Natural Capital Committees’ recommendation to government. The Suffolk Marine Pioneer is acting within the broader Pioneer programme to examine the practical application of the concept within Suffolk.
Reaching consensus on the value of a service or asset is particularly difficult in the marine space, where debate is compounded by a lack of data and the complexity of stewardship. The additional challenge posed by working in the marine space necessitate that communicating the concept of natural capital is both targeted and effective.
Wider public and business engagement is therefore fundamental to the successful application of the natural capital approach. However, engagement with communities and businesses has often proven difficult to accomplish for complex environmental concepts.
This placement will work with the Suffolk Marine Pioneer, its partners and the University of East Anglia to improve practitioners’ engagement around natural capital, and so influence the success of the Pioneer.
Specifically, the placement will : i) Examine how prosperity is linked to the immediate and wider natural environment ii) Understand differences in public and business perception between marine and terrestrial natural assets iii) Categorise business relationships with resource use iv) Make recommendations on how to effectively and sustainably engage public and business interests in natural capital.
This opportunity would suit an early career social scientist looking to influence and improve how public and private sector interact to better manage the natural environment.