Dragon Capital is pleased to announce the creation of the “Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics” at the University of Exeter. Over the next five years, Dragon Capital and the University of Exeter will together commit £1.6 million to fund the new position which will look to address the central question of whether there is any correlation between biodiversity and the success of the economy and whether individuals and organisations can, and should, place an economic value on biodiversity.
The research will bridge and unite both economics and ecology, to improve understanding of their interdependency and identify strategies which are both positive for biodiversity and provide incentives for action by business and individuals.
As part of the programme, the Chair will develop a platform for biodiversity initiatives to advance price measurements of biodiversity providing incentives for businesses to enter the market to provide a diverse range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) offerings for market participants, for example biodiversity conservation initiatives.
The international programme will cover both developed and developing countries, with a particular interest in the United Kingdom and in South East Asia (especially Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bhutan). The research will also influence intergovernmental bodies such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on the design of economic incentives that allow businesses to pursue biodiversity investments legitimately while upholding fiduciary duties.
Dominic Scriven, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Dragon Capital, comments: “How can markets price the absence of birdsong? How much are people willing to pay to maintain the existence of, or be compensated for the loss of, biodiversity in all its forms? It has never been more important for businesses and individuals to understand the impact they are making on society to ensure the conservation of our planet. We regard sustainable development as a fundamental aspect of business management, and it is core to our values at Dragon Capital. We are therefore delighted to be making this combined commitment and look forward to working with the University to find answers to the key questions that too few people are asking.”
Lord Myners of Truro, Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “Dragon Capital’s donation is a visionary act of philanthropy. Our combined investment will concentrate resource into an important area where economics meets ecology. The Dragon Capital Chair will encourage market behaviours that foster the preservation of the natural environment.”