fish underwater with hills in the background

Society & policy Stewardship of ecosystems

Strathclyde has expertise in a range of disciplines which provide research-based evidence to support public policy in environmental and ecosystem management. 

We use the term “stewardship” to express the balance between conservation (including preservation, protection and restoration of ecosystems) and sustainable use of living organisms and habitats, landscapes and seascapes.  And we use the term “ecosystems” broadly to include environmental ecosystems, but also human interactions with our world to ensure cultural and socio-economic diversity, respect for different worldviews (including through community-based approaches), and the variety of benefits that humans derive from nature for their survival, livelihoods and well-being.

Stewardship of ecosystems also requires ever-improving approaches to the valuation of nature, of nature’s intrinsic value, and the need for integrated (cross-sectoral) and multi-level governance. We already know that ecosystems represent a massive financial asset. 

All our work on the stewardship of ecosystems is built on research

For example, the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2011) (UKNEA) valued the benefits of the environment for nature itself, society and economic prosperity at between £21.5 and £23 billion per year in Scotland alone. This shows the importance of ensuring a sustainable approach to ecosystems.

We seek to identify opportunities for Scotland to exercise global environmental leadership at home and internationally (vis-a-vis climate change, biodiversity, human rights-environment nexus, sustainable development goals), including in the context of developing a strategy for Brexit and the environment, agriculture, fisheries, energy, etc.

See examples of recent research from the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance

Stewardship of ecosystems co-ordinators