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Why the 2020s Could and Should Be the Decade for Nature’s Recovery

1 March, 2021 @ 5:30 pm 7:00 pm

The Peach Lecture organised jointly with the University of Leicester.

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts
Honorary Professor of Sustainability and Innovation Alliance Manchester Business School and Policy Fellow University of Cambridge

Members of the Society and visitors: to access this lecture, please go to the University of Leicester’s EventBrite page at

Note the start time of 5:30 p.m. for this lecture.

Craig Bennett


We are facing ‘a climate and ecological emergency’ – a phrase we’ve heard many times over the last few years, from scientists and school children alike. And year on year, we’re seeing growing evidence of the disruption it’s causing, from extreme weather events to the decline of ecosystem services such as pollination, water availability and soil fertility.

In the tropics, deforestation, expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of and trade in wild species have created a ‘perfect storm’ for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people, resulting in pandemics such as Ebola, SARS and – most probably – COVID19. It’s been said that, for people in the West, Covid19 may prove to be their first personal encounter with the biodiversity crisis.

It’s no longer good enough to just think about trying to slow the loss of the natural world – and protect what we’ve got left. We need to stop and reverse the declines, and put nature in recovery – at scale and at pace; to stabilise the climate, and protect the health and wellbeing of billions of people.

This needs to happen globally, of course, but as the country where the industrial revolution started, and one of the most nature depleted countries anywhere in the world, there is a particular moral responsibility and resonance for the UK to take the lead in demonstrating how a rich, industrialised country can bring nature back.

In this lecture, Craig Bennett will outline why this needs to happen, but also set out a vision for putting 30 percent of our land and sea in the UK into nature’s recovery. What might this look like, how could it happen, and what the benefits would be for our economy, health and wellbeing, and ultimately our human progress; at the local, UK and global scale?

Follow Craig on Twitter: @craigbennett3

Zoom Meeting Arrangements

Members of the Society should note that they will be unable to access this lecture using their normal meeting ID and password.

Members of the Society and visitors: to access this lecture, please go to the Universeity of Leicester’s EventBrite page at