Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

Foresight Future of the Sea

By Robert Lyons on 21st March 2018

This new report from UK chief scientific officer includes, among other things, an examination of potential environmental changes that may directly and indirectly affect the UK, including ocean warming, sea-level rise, biodiversity, and chemical and plastic pollution.

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The economic value of our green spaces

By Robert Lyons on 19th March 2018

A new report by the Land Trust argues that well-maintained and well-managed green spaces change lives for the better, but only with long-term funding in place. 

Currently, the report argues, investment in restoring derelict land or transforming land into green space is perceived as having no economic value. Land Trust research, however, suggests this view is wrong and that there are positive economic benefits for all.

This paper presents the findings of a food systems model that considers how specific agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture could be harnessed so as to enable it to play a greater role in sustainable food systems.

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An article looking at the findings from a new study commissioned by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the environment is playing a vital role in tackling the problem of poor air quality and helping to protect people’s health and reduce spending on healthcare.

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It has been 20 years since two seminal publications about ecosystem services came out: an edited book by Gretchen Daily and an article in Nature by a group of ecologists and economists on the value of the world’s ecosystem services. This article in Ecosystems Services traces the history leading up to these publications and the subsequent debates, research, institutions, policies, on-the-ground actions, and controversies they triggered.

Impact of palm oil production on orangutans in Borneo

By Robert Lyons on 30th August 2017

A new report by the International Institute for Environment and Development examines the impact of the palm oil industry, which has contributed significantly to the economic development of Indonesia and Malaysia, but has also caused widespread deforestation of ecosystems renowned for their biodiversity, as well as conflicts with indigenous peoples.

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Most countries lose out with forest-to-farm conversions

By Robert Lyons on 30th August 2017

Study finds deforestation in Latin America, insular South-East Asia (which include Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste) and Madagascar derived low agricultural benefits and high environmental costs.

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This thematic issue of Science for Environment Policy presents recent peer-reviewed research examining the impact of AES on European farming, with a particular focus on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. AES have been shown to benefit a range of animals and plants by increasing the number of individuals and species. However, as with all measurements involving complex ecosystems, the findings and causal links are nuanced, and sometimes difficult to isolate.

Two-thirds of cities experiencing relative economic decline face above average flood disadvantage according to new research by Sayers and Partners for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report highlights how floods interact with social vulnerability across the UK to create flood disadvantage, an issue which will be exacerbated by climate change.

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Landlines: why we need a strategic approach to land

By Robert Lyons on 14th March 2017

This new CPRE pamphlet argues that the case for a national approach to land use is more pressing than ever by showing that England’s land is under an increasing multitude of pressures. The current, fragmentary approach to land use is failing to address the problems caused by often conflicting demands: environmental degradation, rising costs and harm to health and wellbeing.

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