Businesses and organisations with links to the South West marine industry are invited to learn more about the increasingly significant concept of ‘natural capital’, and value natural capital approaches can add to both business and our local environment.
The Devon Maritime Forum has teamed up with the North Devon Marine Pioneer (North Devon Biosphere Reserve), the SWEEP project (Plymouth University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and University of Exeter), and the UK SEAS project (WWF) to organise and host the first event of its kind - the South West Marine Natural Capital Conference 2017.
The event will provide an excellent opportunity for businesses and interested stakeholders to learn more about natural capital, the natural capital approach, and the region’s marine and coastal assets.
While it remains to be seen the extent to which there is cross-party commitment to the much anticipated and leaked Defra 25 year plan, there has no doubt been considerable investment over recent years in the notion of natural capital and the natural capital approach, which has seen the concept gaining in currency and begin to establish itself firmly in policy, if not, as yet, in public discourse. Building on and incorporating ideas and practices associated with the ecosystems approach and ecosystem services, and championed by a range of organisations and individuals – not least of which the Natural Capital Committee – the natural capital approach offers a new way of thinking about, valuing, and managing the natural environment, that puts the environment and environmental assets at the heart of economic decision making.
South West Marine Natural Capital
As a region the South West of England is hugely dependent on its natural capital, and particularly its marine natural capital, for its economic prosperity. Its outstanding marine environment and abundant marine assets provide the natural capital upon which many key regional industries, including the fishing/aquaculture; marine renewable; and marine and coastal tourism/leisure sectors, are built. Given the scale and importance of marine natural capital to the South West’s economy combined with the region’s world leading expertise in marine science and environmental economics it is not surprising that the South West of England has emerged as a global pioneer in implementing and testing the natural capital approach.
Central to the day will be the showcasing of three projects that have the future of the South West’s marine economy at their heart: DEFRA North Devon Marine Pioneer, South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) and the WWF UK Seas project.
Attendees can learn about and engage with all the individual projects, and have the opportunity to explore their common themes, challenges and ambitions. Representatives from Plymouth University's Marine Institute will discuss their involvement in the SWEEP project.
The conference will also provide an unrivalled opportunity to meet and network with members and associates of the largest cross-sectoral marine and coastal partnership in the region.
Tickets are free, but places must be reserved in advance as demand is expected to be high - please register your place via the above link.
Speaker: Tony Juniper
Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor, and leading British environmentalist. Tony has written several books, including the multi-award winning best-seller What has Nature ever done for us?, and works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit. Tony will kick-start the morning sessions with his introduction to what natural capital does for us in the UK.