*** FREE EVENT ***
11th July, 2017 – Exeter Racecourse
Dear DMF members,
I am very pleased to announce that in place of this summer’s conference, the DMF is partnering with the North Devon Marine Pioneer (North Devon Biosphere Reserve), the SWEEP project (Plymouth University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and University of Exeter), and the UK SEAS project (WWF) to organise and host the South West Marine Natural Capital Conference 2017
The Natural Capital Approach
While it remains to be seen the extent to which there is cross-party commitment to the much anticipated and leaked Defra 25 year plan, there has no doubt been considerable investment over recent years in the notion of natural capital and the natural capital approach, which has seen the concept gaining in currency and begin to establish itself firmly in policy, if not, as yet, in public discourse. Building on and incorporating ideas and practices associated with the ecosystems approach and ecosystem services, and championed by a range of organisations and individuals – not least of which the Natural Capital Committee – the natural capital approach offers a new way of thinking about, valuing, and managing the natural environment, that puts the environment and environmental assets at the heart of economic decision making.
South West Marine Natural Capital
As a region the South West of England is hugely dependent on its natural capital, and particularly its marine natural capital, for its economic prosperity. Its outstanding marine environment and abundant marine assets provide the natural capital upon which many key regional industries, including the fishing/aquaculture; marine renewable; and marine and coastal tourism/leisure sectors, are built. Given the scale and importance of marine natural capital to the South West’s economy combined with the region’s world leading expertise in marine science and environmental economics it is not surprising that the South West of England has emerged as a global pioneer in implementing and testing the natural capital approach.
Three Innovative Projects and Partnerships
At the forefront of this approach are three large-scale, innovative and collaborative projects and partnerships that are currently just getting underway in the region: the North Devon Biosphere Reserve led Defra North Devon Marine Pioneer project; the Plymouth University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and University of Exeter led SWEEP (South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity) project; and the WWF-UK led UK SEAS project. These three discreet but interconnected projects bring together academics, businesses, policy makers and local stakeholders to explore innovative approaches and solve some of the challenges associated with financing, managing utilising and improving the marine natural environment.
The South West Marine Natural Capital Conference
The first conference of its kind, the South West Marine Natural Capital Conference will provide an excellent opportunity for leading practitioners, businesses and interested stakeholders to learn more about natural capital, the natural capital approach, and the region’s marine and coastal assets. Central to the day will be the showcasing of the Marine Pioneer, SWEEP and UK SEAS projects and the unique opportunity to learn about and engage with the individual projects and as well as to explore their common themes, challenges and ambitions.
As with previous DMF events, the South West Natural Capital Conference will also provide an unrivalled opportunity to meet and network with members and associates of the largest cross-sectoral marine and coastal partnership in the region.
Further details of the programme and information on how to register for this FREE EVENT will be available soon.