Coordinators for Valuing Nature Programme appointed

13th Nov 2014

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have appointed a multi-disciplinary team to coordinate the Valuing Nature Programme

The five year, abour £6·5m Programme is funded by NERC, Economic & Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It aims to better understand and represent the complexities of the natural environment in valuation analyses and to consider the wider societal and cultural value of ecosystem services.

The Coordination Team's role is to focus on developing a genuinely inter-disciplinary research community capable of working across the natural, biological and social sciences, and arts and humanities. The team will further develop the existing Valuing Nature Network - external link which already has over 1,300 members, and will provide opportunities for engagement between researchers, policy makers, businesses and practitioners. 

Professor Rosie Hails of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is leading the team which also comprises Exeter and Oxford Universities, the Economics of the Environment Consultancy (EFTEC), the Countryscape creative communications agency and Guy Duke, an independent business consultant.

 Professor Hails said:"Our focus will be to engage and create dialogue with partners across academia, business, government, and NGO sectors. 

It is important to develop common understanding between a wide range of disciplines if we are to significantly advance the valuation of our natural environment, and inform government policy development and business decision-making so that an ecosystems approach can be put into practice."

Dr Rob Fish of the University of Exeter highlights that an important strand of the programme will be to place valuation approaches and analyses in their wider social and cultural context:

"In developing the programme we want to avoid the assumption that the valuing nature agenda is of concern only to natural science and economics. Our aim is to amplify the many and diverse contributions that the wider social sciences and arts and humanities can play in this debate to promote innovation, encourage critical debate and expand opportunities for novel learning across disciplines."

The team will be steered by an interdisciplinary Programme Advisory Group which will act as a route to engage with all of the relevant communities.

The team will run Town Meetings starting in early 2015 to support the launch of the Programme's main funding call, which aims specifically to increase understanding of the links between ecosystems and human health and well-being.

Back to List »
Share |