Natural Capital Hub - What is it?

LJMU is playing a key role in safeguarding the UK’s natural assets via its pioneering Natural Capital Hub.

The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world so protecting what is left – forest, soils, water and plant life – is of vital importance nationally and locally.

In response, experts in LJMU’s School of Biological and Environmental Sciences recently established the Natural Capital Hub to share information and good practice among public and private bodies.

Dr Colm Bowe, a Reader in Engagement for Environment and Sustainability, said: “Natural Capital is the parts of the environment that do things for us – woodlands, wetlands, grasslands.

“As well as being part of Nature, practically-speaking they offer a whole host of benefits such as carbon sequestration, natural flood mitigation or improvement of air quality – what experts often call ‘eco-system services’.”

The Hub is already:

  • Advising authorities in the north west and south east on using nature based interventions to address flood risk.
  • Evaluating large-scale woodland creation schemes for the Woodland Trust, Defra, the Community Forest and others.
  • Hosting the Natural Capital Working Group for Liverpool City Region which brings partners together and share data and strategies.

Crucially, the Hub taps into local and national government strategies as Dr Bowe explains: “We’re currently facing a climate and ecological emergency, so it’s really important we work with partners to help them navigate their way forward”.

“Without a thriving environment, we won’t have a thriving economy.”

The team employs mapping and spatial evidence to inform their decisions and strategies, notably policy around local planning.

It also has a training and educational element, working with schools and university students to raise awareness of the social and economic value of natural assets and to help young people into volunteering and employment in eco-services.

Hannah Branwood, Project Officer and Trainer for the Hub said: “We need to build a better, broader understanding of what Natural Capital is and its benefits for society.”


UN Sustainable Development Goals

LJMU is working towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for which the Natural Capital Hub is a critical element. The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030.  

See our SDG Hub



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