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Stewardship for Planet Earth: Sustainable Resources & Governance – Evidence, Challenges and Solutions

12:30 06 November - 14:00 07 November 2014

Location: UCL

Lake Inle, Burma (c)Petra-Dimmers

Image courtesy of Petra Dimmers, UCL Consultants as part of the ISR 2014 Photo Competition

Stewardship for Planet Earth: Sustainable Resources & Governance – Evidence, Challenges and Solutions

Climate change, unprecedented urbanisation, increasingly transnational flows of people, capital and materials are profoundly challenging a sustainable management of resources. Stewardship is a way of responding to these challenges by invoking an ethics of responsible planning and management. Its application can be found in many areas of public life: in environmental policy, economics, health, theology, land use, planning & community. At the same time, it assumes a legitimacy to decide, intervene and control. Who decides, and how? How might sustainable resources be governed and at what level? And what role is there for ethics, culture, business, politics and institutions?

On 6 & 7 November 2014, UCL ISR & UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction (GCII) will be hosting a two day conference that will seek to explore the concept of stewardship for planet earth from a multitude perspectives: multidisciplinarity of research; international value chains and international relations; ethics; experience on the ground and in history and exploring new concepts of governing stewardship. The programme will consist of a mix of plenary, parallel and networking sessions with speakers from across UCL and a range of external speakers from grassroots community organisations to high profile national and international speakers.


6 NOVEMBER 2014 

Sessions include:

  • Understanding Stewardship 
  • Challenges to Stewardship and Resource Use 
  • Local approaches to stewardship: Cultures of ownership, conflicts, and cooperation 
  • Histories of Stewardship; Learning from the Past


Sessions include:

  • The Ethics of Stewardship
  • Emerging new forms of Governing Stewardship 
  • New Ideas for Stewardship of Planet Earth 
  • Moving Forward: An Agenda for the future 

Full programme will be available here in due course.


Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (opening address via video message)

Acting on the nomination of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN General Assembly in 2006 unanimously elected Achim Steiner as the Executive Director of UNEP. He became the fifth Executive Director in UNEP's history. The Secretary-General also appointed Mr. Steiner as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).

Before joining UNEP, Mr. Steiner served as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from 2001 to 2006, and prior to that as Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.

Read the full biography here

Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society and Climate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London, and Interim Director of the Future Earth 

Frans Berkhout is Professor of Environment, Society and Climate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London, and Interim Director of the Future Earth programme, based at the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris. Between 2004 and 2012, Prof Berkhout was director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the VU University Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and from 2010 to 2013 director of the Amsterdam Global Change Institute. Professor Berkhout is a lead author in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (2014) and a member of the Research Evaluation Framework (REF) of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). He sits on the editorial boards of Research Policy, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability and The Anthropocene Review.  His early research was concerned with the economic, political and security aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. His more recent work has been concerned with science, technology, policy and sustainability, with a focus on climate change.

Prof Kevin Urama, Executive Director, African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network

Kevin Urama is an environmental and ecological economist who develops trans-disciplinary and integrated tools for sustainable management of social, ecological and economic systems. He is Executive Director of the African Technology Policy Studies Network in Kenya. He is also inaugural President of the African Society for Ecological Economics and the African chapter of the International Society of Ecological Economics.

Prof Urama is a fellow at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, in the UK, which studies the social and environmental consequences of rural land uses. His writings have appeared in the Journal of Agricultural Economics and the International Journal of Sustainable Development. Kevin Urama earned a PhD in economics from Cambridge University; he was awarded the 2003 James Claydon Prize for the most outstanding doctoral thesis in economics or related subjects from the university.

More to follow!