Are economic growth and biodiversity conservation compatible?

10 Mar 2015 18:00 - 19:45

Economic growth has undoubtedly improved human livelihoods yet has equally had negative effects on the environment.

Scientists are considering introducing a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, to capture humanity’s impact on Earth’s ecosystems.  How will the world cope with the ever-increasing resource demands of developing countries?  Do nations follow standard economic trajectories from agrarian to post-industrial societies, with each stage having predictable impacts on biodiversity?

The environmental Kuznets curve describes the relationship between indicators of environmental degradation and income per capita. In the early stages of economic growth degradation increases, but after some threshold of development is achieved, environmental improvement is possible. However, recognition of planetary boundaries, such as 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide, suggest that domestic levels of pollutants are no longer relevant as pollutants merge internationally to exceed earth’s buffering capacities. This debate will bridge developmental and ecological economics with political and environmental science to explore how humanity can manage economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Mustafa Zaidi, Clarmond
Emma Duncan, The Economist
Jonathan Baillie, Zoological Society of London

This Science and Conservation event is free; seating is allocated on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.

A dinner will follow this Science and Conservation Event and everyone is welcome.

Dinner is £35 per person (includes two glasses of wine). A booking form will be available online one month before the event.

Download dinner booking form: ZSL debate 10 March - Dinner booking form (205.28 KB)


Further Information: please contact  Scientific Events Coordinator, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY. 
Tel:+44 (0)20 7449 6227. Fax: +44 (0)20 7449 6411. E-mail:

ZSL Science and Conservation Events: An essential part of ZSL's work is to communicate relevant, high-quality zoological and conservation science. The integrated ZSL Science and Conservation Events programme includes Symposia, and the new 'Wildlife Conservation' and 'Communicating Science' series. Topics cover a wide variety of zoological and conservation themes, and international experts present and discuss their research.

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