WUC lecturer contributes to ground-breaking research

April 2020

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Peter Hobson, Professor in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability at Writtle University College, is working to drive innovative new research. He is one of 22 co-authors from 12 countries with expertise in conservation ecology and ecological economics, to contribute to a new article in Conservation Letters; Biodiversity policy beyond economic growth

The team, which was led by Iago Otero from the University of Lausanne, analysed the relationship between economic growth and biodiversity conservation. They found that by increasing resource use and emissions, economic growth contributes to biodiversity loss.

The paper shows that most of international policies on biodiversity and sustainability advocate economic growth. To solve this contradiction, the authors suggest alternative policy proposals that could ensure prosperity beyond economic growth, thus contributing to halt biodiversity loss. Proposals include the establishment of national caps to traded natural resources and the implementation of work reduction and sharing schemes in companies.

The study recommends that IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) includes a trajectory beyond economic growth in its current projections of the future state of biodiversity. To do this, different indicators (economic, social and ecological) should be used.

Professor Peter Hobson said: "I was delighted to contribute to such a crucial piece of research. I hope the paper, which was published on April 14th, will encourage policy makers to explore socioeconomic trajectories beyond economic growth in the next generation of biodiversity scenarios."