The LEEP team

LEEP aims and activities: talks available

Members of LEEP gave an overview of the institute’s aims and activities to a packed audience of environmental economists, on Friday 18 March 2016, at envecon 2016, at the Royal Society, London.

Professor Ian Bateman, OBE, opened with an overview of LEEP’s aims and its activities around resilient environments, sustainable economies and human wellbeing. Ian explained how LEEP provides a unique fusion of social science, economics & natural science which can be applied to the institute’s core focus of enhancing natural capital and enabling smart decisions in business, government and communities. Ian spoke of the wealth of existing partnerships between LEEP and with other research institutes, public and private sector organisations and the aspirations to rapidly grow these collaborations.

Following this theme, Professor Matt Lobley spoke about LEEP’s research to inform policy and business in the areas of agriculture and land management. Using the example of the FARMCAT project, Matt showed how providing training for farmers measurably enhances the success of agri-environment scheme outcomes, for example more pollen for butterflies.

Moving to a longer-term thinking, Matt drew on his work on intergenerational succession planning with farmers: most farms are family businesses with many strengths and advantages but they also face a number of challenges. LEEP staff have designed and delivered a training package to support the launch of NFU Mutual’s new Succession Planning Service.

Professor Brett Day reviewed LEEP’s research portfolio in environmental economics for policy design and support. Brett outlined incentive mechanisms for natural capital management, and how these can be used by government, with the example of work on improving the efficiency of agri-environment schemes; and with the private sector with two examples in partnership with water companies to design and implement farmer incentive schemes for improved water quality.

Dr Amy Binner gave an overview of LEEP’s international research and integrated approaches. Amy gave an example of recent work where economics can be used to save endangered species such as orangutans, around palm oil plantations in Sumatra. Amy also looked at the costs and benefits of improved monitoring of volcanic activity, to give early warning to the local population. The session was chaired by Professor Michael Winter, OBE and stimulated a lively discussion amongst the audience of the event.

For more details on the topics covered, you can download the talks as a pdf here.

Date: 11 April 2016

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