UK biodiversity review recruits Sir David Attenborough

uk biodiversity review
© iStock/DamianKuzdak

Sir David Attenborough will act as ambassador for a landmark UK biodiversity review aimed at assessing the economics of biodiversity.

The UK biodiversity review, which met for the first time this week, was initially commissioned by the Treasury in March this year; experts from business and academia are encouraged to offer evidence on the economic implications of biodiversity loss and potential conservation solutions, while the UK government has said ministers are ‘expected’ to attend sessions on biodiversity preservation and addressing the impacts of climate change at the General Assembly of the United Nations next week.

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, who will lead the review, said: “Biodiversity is at the heart of our way of life – therefore it is vital we preserve it for generations to come. By placing an economic value on the benefits of biodiversity we will be able to prevent its demise – which is a win-win for our future generations and economies. I look forward to working with this esteemed panel of experts who bring valued insights and challenge to help meet our objectives in this review.”

The UK biodiversity review, which will operate independently and source evidence from around the world, has three primary goals:

  • Examining the economic benefits offered by biodiversity;
  • Analysing current and potential economic losses incurred by biodiversity loss; and
  • Proposing future actions to preserve biodiversity while maintaining economic prosperity.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said: “We’re determined to leave the environment in a better state than we found it for future generations. Protecting nature’s biodiversity has both environmental and economic benefits. That’s why we asked Professor Dasgupta to carry out the first review of its kind into this area; and I’m delighted Sir David Attenborough has agreed to be an Ambassador.”

The UK biodiversity review will report ahead of the United Nations’ 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in October 2020 in China.

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