Tuesday 5 July 2011

Biodiversity Butterfly

The University of Northampton hosts a free event committed to promoting biodiversity and sharing solutions for its conservation.

On Thursday 7 July the University is holding a Biodiversity Summit as part of a larger project entitled Keeping It Local: Shared Solutions for Sustainability; the project is funded by HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England), Northamptonshire County Council and the University.

Following a series of short opening talks, delegates will be invited to break out into groups to discuss the knowledge and information about biodiversity that they require for their own needs.

The summit, the second in a series on Sustainability, will outline the challenges, opportunities and benefits of managing habitats for nature conservation and provision of ecosystem services. It will also enable people to have their input into the development of the new Biodiversity Index, a tool being developed by the University to help organisations manage biodiversity.

Ecosystem services are processes and resources that are provided by nature and which help to sustain our society. Protecting ecosystems is a fundamental requirement of sustainable development and there is increasing pressure for organisations and businesses to demonstrate their commitment to conserving and improving biodiversity, ensuring that ecosystem services are maintained.

We are talking to people who could contribute to enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services. In turn, this can raise an organisation’s public reputation and assist in meeting targets for sustainability and adaptation for climate change.

Dr Jeff Ollerton, Reader in Biodiversity, School of Science and Technology

Biodiversity is an issue of global concern.

At Japan’s recent UN Convention on Biological Diversity it was confirmed that human society is dependent upon the ecosystem services provided by wild nature.  For example, the pollination services provided to crops by wild bees, flies and other animals have a global value estimated to be worth 100s of billions of dollars per year. Closer to home, the recent National Ecosystem Assessment valued the UK’s natural capital as worth £30 billion per year.

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