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Over recent years, there has been a growing acknowledgement of the importance of nature for human health and wellbeing. Research has shown that separation from nature is implicated in declining physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. A special issue on ‘Health Benefits of Nature’ has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

A new report by Natural England demonstrates the benefits of the natural environment to people. The report reviews evidence across a wide range of themes, including economic growth, health, social cohesion and resilience to climate change.

The concept of ecosystem services is increasingly being promoted as a means better to protect ecological systems through more informed decision–making, but in practice much less is known about how far this shift in thinking is actually affecting the way in which ecosystem knowledge is used, especially by decision makers.

The International Resource Panel (IRP), under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), recently launched a new report ‘Building Natural Capital: How REDD+ Can Support a Green Economy.’ REDD+ is an approach adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forests. If pursued, REDD+ could bring new momentum and funding to preservation. This report provides a concise summary of the pieces necessary for integrating REDD+ into a Green Economy.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 09:00 to 18:30

Brussels, Belgium

Date and Time: 
Monday, May 12, 2014 - 08:00 to Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 12:30

University of Dundee, Scotland

Nature is crucial to our global economy and essential to human welfare. Despite this importance, the value of natural capital is consistently taken for granted. The Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has recently published its second State of Natural Capital Report which examines the risks to natural capital as well as the benefits of integrating it into policy-making. NCC was established in May 2012 to advise the Government on how to ensure England’s ‘natural wealth’ is regulated both efficiently and sustainably.

This discussion paper attempts to frame a definition of a ‘sustainable land use’ in a pragmatic way, contributing to the concept of sustainable land use governance currently developed in the GLOBALANDS project. The paper starts with a short overview on prevalent sustainability theories, outlining the conflict between a strong and a weak concept of sustainability and explaining the role of "natural capital" and "reproduction" in the context of land use.

Date and Time: 
Monday, March 17, 2014 - 18:00 to 19:30

University of Westminster, London

The latest In-depth Report from Science for Environment Policy presents an overview of research into social innovation, with special consideration for its environmental implications. In the report, case studies illustrating how social innovation has taken place in real-world settings are presented, from urban beekeeping in Copenhagen to pedal-powered distribution in Paris and community farming in London.

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