An interdisciplinary team from the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, led by Dr Amy Binner, are helping a wide range of stakeholders to come together to achieve their aims for the North Devon Biosphere area.
Working with businesses, government and third sector organisations, the team will provide support, guidance and tools to help realise environmental improvements and economic and community benefits across this special region.
The North Devon Biosphere Reserve has been designated by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme to inspire a positive future by connecting people and nature. This area also aligns with Defra’s Pioneer initiative (part of its 25 year Environmental Plan) to identify innovation and test natural capital approaches.
In the latter stages of the project a public-facing decision support tool will be developed, to enable engagement with, management of, and investment in North Devon’s natural capital. This will help businesses to better understand the opportunities for natural capital investments and enable a move towards natural capital led profits. This project is aligned with other SWEEP work focusing on the Marine Pioneer, and Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks.
Working with a range of partners and stakeholders including Natural England, Forestry Commission, Defra, Environment Agency, JNCC, Ordnance Survey, RSPB, Carbon Fund and Moor Trees, the main areas of focus for this project:
- boosting the woodland economy through the Woodland Enterprise Zone
- future farm business models
- post-Brexit Agri-Environmental Schemes
- estuarine resilience.
Ian is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Exeter Business School. As the SWEEP Director, Ian is responsible for ensuring that the Partnership delivers major real-world improvements in the economy, communities and natural environment of the region. This is achieved through the variety of projects which SWEEP undertakes.
Michela is a postdoctoral researcher in environmental economics. She joined the team at the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter in January 2018, after working as a postdoctoral researcher in environmental economics at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen. Michela’s research is focused on the economic valuation of the benefits that people obtain from the environment. Working across several SWEEP projects, Michela will use economic valuation to inform the development of natural capital accounts in the South West. She will also investigate ways of improving the design of payment for ecosystem services for farmers such that society gets more benefits from a better managed environment.