Green Ambassadors in the 'Cathedral of Nature'
By Adam Pillsbury
The British Council delegation comprised highly accomplished members of our Active Citizens, Climate Champions, E-idealists and Global Changemakers programmes from countries such as
Coming from British Council programmes all around the world, the Green Ambassadors helped facilitate knowledge-exchange and provided an international perspective.
Noel Mbaru, a Climate Champion from
Noel Mbaru, BC Climate Champion, took the opportunity to engage the UK audience with mechanisms currently working in Kenya that involve enhancing mangrove forest productivity while benefiting the local communities and attracting carbon investment.
Known as the ‘cathedral of nature’ for its handsome Victorian architecture and magnificent collection that includes specimens collected by Charles Darwin, the NHM served as a symbolically rich home for the Earth Debates, a series of discussions which our science team organised with the NHM and the Stakeholder Forum. Chaired by the BBC’s environment correspondent Richard Black, the debates addressed core aspects of a green and fair economy in order build momentum and generate dialogue in the run-up to the
Richard Black, BBC Environment’s correspondent, brought attention to issues that need to be discussed instead of avoided, including the idea that we could potentially feed the growing population if everyone became vegan.
Featuring eminent speakers from various stakeholder groups, the debates were broadcast to audiences around the world, including to British Council offices in
Claire McNulty, Director Science, who organised the Earth Debates with the NHM, underscored the need to bring together “scientists and entrepreneurs, policy makers and NGOs, community groups and businesses” to address global challenges such as climate change, because “only by working together, to find integrated, society-relevant solutions, can we achieve real progress on the road to good planetary stewardship, to the benefit of future generations.” Claire added that, “this needs to be done on an international level, linking individuals and networks who share the same goals, wherever they may be.” Claire further noted that, “as the
Echoing these sentiments, Bob Bloomfield, Head of Innovation and Special Projects at the NHM, expressed the hope that the debates will “lead to the responses that will ensure the future health, wealth and wellbeing of our fragile planet, its living systems and humanity.”
Supporting that effort, the Green Ambassadors plan to produce reports on the status of the four debate topics in their countries, and communicate with the British Council Youth Delegation attending the Rio+20 Conference in June, which will bring together heads of state and government decision makers along with representatives from business and civil society to generate a new global vision for sustainable development.
* Ecosystem services concern the valuation of nature, and the responsibility of developed countries to compensate poorer nations for becoming rich through the exploitation of the world’s natural capital.