EEAC International Conference 2013 a huge success
Managing ecosystems for people, nature and economy. #eeacbangor
In Wales, we have a unique opportunity to manage our natural resources in a way which not only maximises benefits to our wildlife, countryside and urban areas, but also to people and communities. Our environment is responsible for many things which are often taken for granted – from reducing our flood risk to purifying our air and making our waters cleaner. With many eyes on environmental policy and progress in Wales, we look forward to continuing to lead the way in ecosystems management and creating a country which places the value of its natural resources at the forefront” Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales
We are using up the earth’s ‘natural capital’ faster than the earth can replace it. It’s far easier to see how we’re using non-renewable natural resources such as coal or oil, but we’re also over-using other resources and ‘services’ that are less visible, but no less important to our survival – things such as pollination of food crops, the earth’s ability to store carbon in peatlands and purify the atmosphere by plants. A new approach is being developed which takes these natural ‘services’ into account.
In Wales, the Welsh Government’s Living Wales Green Paper proposes an ‘ecosystem approach to decision making’. Put simply, it means fully reflecting the true long-term value of ecosystems and their services in decision making.
An international Conference focusing on this ‘ecosystems’ approach took place at Bangor University on Friday 18 October 2013.
Scientists and policy advisors who provide independent and evidence-based advice to their national governments discussed the latest policy developments and research in ecosystems management at the European, UK and Wales levels and in particular, how the science is translated into policy.
They shared examples of best practice from Europe and the wider UK, and naturally, the focus was on recent advances made in Wales, including the creation of the new single environment body – Natural Resources Wales, and progress with several £million-worth of new ecosystem services research projects.
Welcoming the Conference on behalf of Bangor University, Professor John G. Hughes, the University’s Vice-Chancellor said:
We are delighted to host this Conference on its first visit to Wales. The University has an international reputation for environmental science research and teaching and has made clear sustainability commitments, recognised in our standing as the ‘greenest’ University in Wales. One of the many ways in which higher education can contribute is illustrated by our Wales Environment Research Hub, within our College of Natural Resources. Funded by the Welsh Government, the Hub takes advantage of expertise within universities and institutes to provide the evidence base which informs and underpins government policy.”
European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) have been established in most European countries, and their Network, whose 2013 Conference took place in Bangor, represents 16 European countries. The Conference was co-hosted by Bangor University and Natural Resources Wales.
For further information please contact:
Dr Shaun Russell
Director, Wales Environment Research Hub, Environment Centre Wales, Bangor University
Tel: 01248 382234
Mobile: 07792 760714
“We have greatly benefited from our engagement with the WISE Network programme and look forward to making further progress in both reducing the impact of our operations and extending our offer to those who are hard-to-reach.”
Warren Jones, Manager
Beaumaris Leisure Centre