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Professor Ben Groom

Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics announced

Professor Ben Groom has been appointed Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics at the University of Exeter. 

He will lead the £1.6m partnership between the University of Exeter and Dragon Capital, an asset manager which aims to help increase the consideration of biodiversity in investments in financial markets and government policy making.

The new Chair will sit within the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter Business School.

Professor Groom, who joins Exeter from the London School of Economics and Political Science, comments: “Maintaining biodiversity is fundamental to the health and prosperity of every human, so it needs to be a key factor in policy making and financial decisions in the same way that climate change is becoming.

“The objective is to provide evidence based guidance to help identify strategies which are positive for biodiversity and provide incentives for action by business and individuals.”

With biodiversity loss stemming in major part from regional and global commodity trading, conflicts between economic growth and environmental objectives are a common occurrence. The initiative will take a global perspective to look at these trade-offs and provide advice to both business and government internationally.

Research areas will focus upon harnessing the power of global economies towards enhancement rather than degradation of biodiversity, how individual businesses can contribute to wild species conservation, and the human welfare and ecosystem impacts associated with biodiversity loss. Within a changing global and business environment the need for such innovative research has never been stronger.  

Dominic Scriven, Chairman of Dragon Capital, comments: “The world’s biodiversity is at a critical point, and we believe that its best hope is through business – finding ways to encourage companies and the financial markets to make more money out of conserving nature than degrading it. It requires a change of thinking and behaviour, and the appointment of Professor Groom and the development of the Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics will lead this new approach.”

Date: 29 May 2020

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