Sustainable Development Goals in action

Paul van Gardingen is Director of ESPA (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation), a research programme part-funded by ESRC, delivering evidence and tools to create a more sustainable link between land and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.

Paul van Gardingen

I recently visited Bangladesh to attend the annual meeting of the Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP), a group that shares the common aim of promoting the integral role the environment can play in alleviating poverty. Continue reading

Better woodlands, better health?

Jennifer Thomson is an ESRC (1+3) PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She is based in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH). Jennifer’s research examines the links between woodlands, health and health inequalities. For her MSc dissertation she explored the use of woodlands in urban areas of Scotland.

Jennifer Thomson

We at CRESH are continuing to explore the ways in which public green spaces – such as woods and parks – are good for our mental and physical health. Our previous work has shown that those living near green space tend to have better health and less likely to die from heart or lung disease than those living in more built up areas. We’ve also found that green spaces may have a role in reducing the health gap between richer and poorer neighbourhoods. Other researchers have emphasised the health-promoting qualities of woodlands in particular, and how they may be important places for reducing stress and increasing physical activity among those living in towns and cities where access to nature is often limited.
Continue reading

Tim Jackson: the case for sustainable prosperity

Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group. He currently holds an ESRC Professorial Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy.

Tim Jackson

Why did you pursue an academic career?

I am an ‘accidental academic’, starting my professional life working on a voluntary (and then freelance) basis doing research for environmental organisations like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, places where sustainability issues were being taken most seriously. At an international symposium in 1992, I met Professor Roland Clift, who later persuaded me to apply for a research fellowship at the University of Surrey. The rest, as they say, is academic history – although I still maintain strong links with civil society organisations and policymakers. Continue reading