University of Derby commits to reverse biodiversity decline through membership of new global network

8 December 2022

The University of Derby has become part of Nature Positive Universities Alliance, a new global network of 111 universities that have made an official pledge to work towards a global Nature Positive goal in order to halt, prevent and reverse nature loss through addressing their own impacts and restoring ecosystems harmed by their activities.

Announced today (8 December 2022) by the University of Oxford and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), the initiative is set to drive the world’s higher education sector towards a nature positive future as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

As part of its pledge, the University of Derby has committed to start a nature positive journey and has already begun assessing its environmental impact in order to make tailored actions to improve its ecological footprint on our planet.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“As a Civic University we have a key role to play in making a positive impact on the local, national and global environment, and a responsibility to do all we can to help tackle the crisis that is facing our planet.

“By making this pledge we are reinforcing our commitment to assessing and addressing the impact our University has on the environment and working towards mitigating this through a number of existing and new initiatives.

“We are delighted to be one of the founding universities from across the globe pledging to be nature positive.”

Examples of nature positive projects already underway at Derby include:

The Nature Positive Universities Alliance brings higher education institutions together to use their unique power and influence as drivers of positive change. Universities already carry out environmental and conservation research to help inform government and company action, but by publicly tackling their own supply chains and operational impacts on nature, universities can help guide the wider community on a path to address the twin climate and ecological crises.

EJ Milner-Gulland, Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity at the Department of Biology, University of Oxford, and co-founder of the Nature Positive Universities Alliance, said:

“As universities, we occupy a unique position in educating future leaders, researching solutions to environmental challenges, and influencing our communities and governments. By addressing our own institutions' environmental impacts, we can be powerful thought leaders while also directly contributing to restoring nature.”

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