Jonathon Porritt to discuss the true value of nature in Public Lecture

17 March 2015

Canterbury Christ Church University's Public Lecture series will come to a close on Thursday 26 March, with a lecture by world renowned environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, entitled: Will we ever understand the true value of Nature.

The lecture will explore how concepts like ‘natural capital’ and ‘valuing eco-system services’ have become commonplace for a small professional elite, but with little evidence of a change in the business-as-usual mind-sets of developers, economists and politicians.

Jonathon Porritt is Founder Director of Forum for the Future and eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world’s leading companies.

The lecture exemplifies the University’s aims in being responsible for protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of its sites, for the benefit of the University community as well as the local community and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the University is proudly part of.

Prior to his lecture, Jonathon will be given a guided tour of the University’s Bioversity project, which involves stewardship of the green spaces on campus within the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS). The Bioversity initiative focuses specifically on cultural aspects of biodiversity in relation to the history of the site.

During the tour Jonathon will also be shown some of the sites associated with the Edible Campus initiative, which encourages students and staff to grow their own food as well as enhance biodiversity.

Professor Peter Vujakovic, Chair of the Biodiversity Working Group and Professor of Geography at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: "Stewardship of the living world is a strongly held ideal for many students and staff at Christ Church. The Bioversity and Edible Campus initiatives provide continuity between past, present and future and highlight our unique ‘sense of place’ on this ancient site.

“Good stewardship of the WHS reflects our concerns for the wider environment, as well as helping us to make direct links with day to day issues of environmental concern, such as where our food comes from.”

As a largely urban-based institution, the University has a limited area of natural or semi-natural habitats, for example woods and natural grasslands. However, the wide range of ‘pocket habitats’ such as ornamental gardens, church yards, ancient walls, ponds and more, host a rich and diverse range of plant and animal life.

The lecture will be held on Thursday 26 March at 6pm in the Michael Berry Lecture Theatre in the Old Sessions House building on the University’s North Holmes campus. The lecture is free and open to all.

Notes to Editor

The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and the Anglo-Saxon church of St Martin. Historically Canterbury is the cradle of English Christianity and associated with the development of the Christian church in Britain since the 6th century. The university occupies part of the outer precinct of St Augustine's Abbey.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 97% of our UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:28:00