Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

Urgent action needed to save earth’s biodiversity

Biodiversity – vital for life on earth – is being eroded at an alarming rate and both politicians and the private sector must act now to halt the erosion.

That was the message from the University of Brighton’s Professor Andrew Church, specialist in human-nature relations and the environment, who spoke at a London conference alongside Environment Secretary Michael Gove and TV broadcaster and writer Ben Fogle.

The Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, hosted by the Government, brought together global leaders with the aim of raising awareness of the significant loss in global biodiversity and finding ways to protect species from extinction.

Professor Church, Professor of Human Geography and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), said biodiversity was critical for humanity and suggested ways it can be safeguarded: Increasing the number and size of protected nature conservation areas around the globe, mainstreaming biodiversity into economic and policy sectors, and integrating biodiversity across agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing sectors.

He said: “A future based on the balanced use of nature’s contributions and reflecting diverse societal values is more likely to be sustainable.”

Professor Church called for better education, reduced consumption, and for everyone to play their part and to share responsibility. He added: “Business as usual is not an option.”

Other speakers included: Tanya Steele, Chief Executive UK office of World Wild Life Fund;
Brian Sullivan, Executive Director for Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association;
Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations; Inger Anderson, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and Xavier Sticker, Ambassador for the Environment in the French Government

For more information on Professor Church, go to:

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Stephanie Thomson • October 22, 2018

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