Ecosystem Collapse, what is it and what does it mean for Dorset?
This online talk (15th July) from Professor Adrian Newton of Bournemouth University did not attract a large crowd. That was a shame. Adrian proved to be an engaging speaker who managed to leave his audience feeling optimistic about the prospects for Dorset. Yes, he pulled no punches as he spoke of past extinctions, degraded coral reefs, deforestation and desertification. He highlighted the way in which slow decline can accelerate to the collapse of a whole ecosystem. But he also talked of nature's remarkable capacity to recover if damaging human activity ceases. And then he homed in on Dorset. Our agricultural land has become seriously degraded, but work being done to support collaboration between Dorset's Local Nature Partnership and the Local Enterprise Partnership has demonstrated that investment in tackling Dorset's environment could be economically attractive. Whether we like it or not, money talks and there's a lot of hope here. I've found myself reflecting on the insights Adrian provided many times since the talk.
This was just one of the images Adrian shared with us.
For those who want to know more: Adrian has newly published a book 'Ecosystem Collapse and Recovery' and his Dorset references (including the diagram above) came from a research project into valuing nature and an extensively illustrated report 'Trends in Natural Capital, Ecosystem Services & Economic Development in Dorset'.