President’s Symposium, October 2020

Valuing and Restoring Nature.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable to hold the 2020 symposium in the normal format, but it went ahead in a “virtual” form.

It was curated by Clare Broom, our President for 2020-21.

Our annual President’s Symposium is a keenly anticipated event attracting many DA members and guests. This year’s symposium is such an important and appropriate topic for discussion – particularly in this country and at this time – that we decided to ask the speakers to record their presentations in advance and their thoughts and messages for us all are now here for everyone to enjoy.

The Symposium went live immediately after our AGM on Saturday 3rd October 2020 and it is intended that the presentations will remain on the website indefinitely.

You can watch each video presentation separately by clicking the links below, or you can watch the whole symposium on YouTube here (opens in a new tab). Total running time is about 160 minutes.

List of presentations
Clare Broom DL
Prof. Ian Bateman OBE (Exeter University)Valuing Nature: unavoidable and necessary
Prof. Rosie Hails MBE (National Trust)Restoring nature for public benefit
Mel Squires MBE (NFU)South West farming’s positive role in delivering the Net Zero Solution
Rachel Thomas CBE, DL (Exmoor Society)Battleground bred the Exmoor Society
Harry Barton (Devon Wildlife Trust)Building a nature recovery network in Devon
Clare Broom DL

Each presentation page has a form at the bottom where you can add comments or ask questions.From the leaflet that was published before the pandemic took hold:

In a speech delivered at Kew Gardens in July 2019, Michael Gove, then Secretary of State for the Environment, admitted that “The United Kingdom is now among the most nature depleted countries in the world.”

The decline in nature is well documented and the need for recovery widely accepted. Whilst there are many conservation successes to be celebrated, traditional scientific and ethical arguments for the conservation of nature have failed to protect our natural capital assets, such as species and soils and the ecosystem services they provide.

Researchers and practitioners in Devon are helping to lead the way in finding and testing solutions to the nature crisis. Via five papers and a panel discussion, the symposium will explore some of this work and demonstrate how attempts are being made to value, restore and enhance nature for the benefit of all.

We wish to express our deepest gratitude to our President and to all the speakers for their spirited co-operation at such a busy and difficult time for them.