You won’t need a degree in Economics to attend this conference

Nenvecon 2016CI Steering Group member Ece Ozdemiroglu, the founding director of eftec, writes about the natural capital aspects of the upcoming ‘envecon’ conference on Friday 18th March 2016 at the Royal Society, London. envecon is the annual conference of the UK Network for Environmental Economists (UKNEE).


UKNEE is a multidisciplinary network – that’s how environmental economics is….a bridge between different environmental and social sciences, and economics….and decision makers. Attendance at the envecon conference shows this mix: since 2004, we have had a mix of economists and experts in other fields, and a steady and equal proportion of academic researchers, private sector and public sector representatives.

This year, papers related to natural capital have a prominent place on the agenda.

The keynote speech will be given by Mark Gough, who is the Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition. The Coalition brings together global stakeholders to study and standardise methods for natural capital accounting to enable its valuation and reporting in business. Mark will tell us about the Natural Capital Protocol currently out for consultation. You can find the consultation draft here. I am particularly proud that my colleague Ian Dickie has contributed to the protocol, especially on the aspects of economic valuation.  Mark will also talk about the role of environmental economists in developing the natural capital approaches for business.

There will also be a session on the natural capital accounting:

  • Chris Woodley Stewart (Northern Upland Chain AONB) and Phil Cryle (eftec) will talk about how to make an investment case for the management of natural capital for Local Nature Partnerships. They use the example of Norther Upland Chain AONB.
  • Chris White (AECOM) will present their work on developing ecosystem accounts for protected areas in England and Scotland. This is an example of habitat specific accounts.
  • Oliver Hölzinger (University of Birmingham) will present the ‘natural capital planning tool’ they developed for urban planning for sustainable land use and tested in Birmingham.

Other sessions during the day will include:

  • Economic valuation,
  • (managing) Risk (for corporations, land use and human health),
  • Climate change, policy and business,
  • Spatial analysis (for economic valuation, making investment cases and ecosystem service analysis), and
  • Climate, energy and economic behaviour.

The conference will also be an opportunity to hear about the ongoing refresh to the HM Treasury’s Green Book – the official guidance for economic appraisal in the UK. That one is probably most interest to economists but still it will not be too technical for the general audience.

Finally, we will have the chance to hear about the new Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter. LEEP builds upon the established and internationally acclaimed track records of the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) and the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR).  As well as specialising in a wide array of research topics, the Institute also places great emphasis upon its engagement with knowledge users in government and business, and is developing an interdisciplinary teaching programme.

We look forward to seeing you at envecon – the delegate fee is low as the conference is not-for-profit, and we offer discounts for groups, students and NGOs.

Visit the UKNEE website for more information and to register


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