University academic joins UK environment expert panel


Alister Scott, Professor of Environmental and Spatial Planning at Birmingham City University, has been appointed to serve on an expert panel monitoring a major research programme looking at the management of the built and natural environments. The panel forms part of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) follow-on phase.

First reported in June 2011, the UK NEA was the first analysis of the UK’s natural environment with regards to the benefits it provides to society and continuing economic growth and prosperity.

The UK NEA delivered information to the state on the possible future of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems across Britain and identified a number of uncertainties. A two-year long follow-on phase will help to further develop the UK NEA’s views, tackle practical challenges and ensure more informed decision making.

Alister Scott, from the Birmingham School of the Built Environment at the University, said: “I am delighted by this appointment which recognises the significant work I have been leading at Birmingham City University that seeks to better connect the ecosystem approach within planning processes in the rural urban fringe.

“I see my role on the panel as helping to better connect the institutions and practices that currently operate across an environmental versus planning divide. We need to work collaboratively across boundaries and traditional ways of doing things to maximise policy impact. This thinking is embedded within the environmental emphasis of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the newly established Birmingham School of the Built Environment.”

The UK NEA follow-on phase is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh government and three research councils (the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council).

The panel is to be chaired by Professor Sir Robert Watson (Defra Chief Scientific Advisor), Professor Steve Albon (James Hutton Institute) and Professor Kerry Turner (University of East Anglia).

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