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39th TB Macaulay Lecture on sustainable development goals now available to watch online

Professor Robert Costanza (c) James Hutton Institute
"Professor Costanza is a leading thinker on new ways to look at our long-term sustainability.

The publication of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 was the expression of a global consensus to follow a pathway to a better future. The 17 goals and the 169 targets indicate areas where progress is needed and show a way forward for researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.

However, how do these goals and targets interconnect, and what are the trade-offs and synergies that need to be resolved to avoid unintended consequences? Do we need to redesign our economic approach to one that foregoes the conventional goal of growth? Can putting a monetary value on nature and our natural capital halt the degradation of our land and loss of biodiversity?  These questions were at the heart of the 39th T.B. Macaulay Lecture, offered by world-leading authority Professor Robert Costanza and which is now available to watch online.

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, said: “We are deeply honoured to have had Professor Costanza deliver this year’s lecture. He is a leading thinker on new ways to look at our long-term sustainability. Scotland has embraced the concept of Natural Capital in our economic strategy and has leading policies on land use and climate change, and this lecture is sure to spark further debate.”

On behalf of the Macaulay Development Trust, Eric Baird commented: “The Trust is delighted to have invited Professor Costanza to stimulate the new thinking that is needed.”

Professor Costanza holds a Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. He has authored or co-authored over 500 scientific papers and 27 books, including the influential paper “The value of world’s ecosystem services and natural capital” published in Nature (1997) and cited over 15,000 times. His work has been cited in more than 17,000 scientific articles and he has been named as one of ISI’s Highly Cited Researchers since 2004. More than 300 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media.

The T.B. Macaulay Lecture is organised by the Trustees of the Macaulay Development Trust and the James Hutton Institute to support debate about the sustainable management of land and natural resources.

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Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.