1 Nov 2013 5:00pm - 6:30pm Law Faculty (LG19)


This event is free and open to all.

Gretchen Daily, Professor of Environmental Science, Stanford Woods, will give a series of three public lectures and participate in a concluding symposium on Tuesday 5 November.


Even in the face of intensifying pressures and risks on the global environmental front, there is a feeling of Renaissance in the movement to harmonize people and Nature.  This flows in part from the promise in reaching – together with much more diverse and powerful leaders than in the past – for new understanding and approaches. Communities, corporations, governments, and NGOs are starting to work together, as never before.  The vision is to move from lose-lose battles to win-win solutions, through recognizing hidden values of Nature and aligning short-term, individual incentives with securing human and environmental well-being over the long run. While the vision has inspired great commitments and tangible progress, bringing it into reality is fraught with both practical and ethical challenges.  In a world as full as Earth is today, there’s no winning on all counts:  all resource decisions are rife with trade-offs.  How should these be decided?  At every turn, questions of fairness and wisdom in choosing among imperfect options confront even a biologist (like me).  I will briefly describe the movement to value nature through its recent history.  Looking at a few of the most breathtaking efforts currently underway – including the world’s first national systems in Costa Rica and China, and at first steps by the business world – we will explore the promise and peril ahead in forging a deep and lasting transformation to sustainability.

Other events in this series:

About the Professorship

The Humanitas Chair in Sustainability Studies has been made possible by the generous support of Tellus Mater Foundation.

Over its 5 year duration, the Visiting Professorship will touch on a diverse range of topics relating to sustainability studies, ranging from the environment and behaviour, to policy and economics.

The Humanitas Chair in Sustainability Studies is organised in collaboration with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative(CCI), a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focussed biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK. CCI seeks to transform the global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and the natural capital it represents and, through this, secure a sustainable future for all life on Earth. The CCI partners together combine and integrate research, education, policy and practice to create innovative solutions for society and to foster conservation learning and leadership. 

Standing Committee

Mike Rands (Excecutive Director, Cambridge Conservation Initiative)
William Sutherland (Zoology)
Bhaskar Vira (Geography)

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