Overview & Essential Information

Join us at our first Symposium of 2020.

We are very excited to announce a Joint Meeting of the British Ecological Society Journal, People and Nature, and the Valuing Nature Programme.* The meeting will be an international, broad-scope, interdisciplinary event reflecting the ethos of both People and Nature and the Valuing Nature Programme. It will cover many aspects of the multiple values of nature and will broadly fall under three themes as outlined below. The meeting aims to foster cross-disciplinary research collaborations and inform the agenda in this growing and fast-moving research area.

When: 2-3 March

Where: We The Curious, Bristol, UK

Meeting Programme

You can download the Meeting overview.

Alternatively you can download the full Meeting Programme here.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #MVN20

Presenter Guidelines

Guidelines for standard talks and poster presentations can be downloaded below. We ask that all presenters read through all instructions carefully before the meeting to ensure your presentation is prepared correctly.


Oral Presentation Guidelines

Do not Tweet Symbol


Poster Presentation Guidelines

2012 Bulletin Article on Poster Presentation Tips

Attendee Information

Our delegate instructions provide you with all the key information you need for the conference, so please take the time to read through these before travelling to Bristol.

You can download the delegate information here.

Meeting Organisers

Kevin Gaston, University of Exeter, Editor-in-Chief, People and Nature
Kai M A Chan, University of British Colombia, Lead Editor, People and Nature
Robert Fish, University of Kent, Lead Editor, People and Nature, Valuing Nature Network
Rosemary Hails, The National Trust, Lead Editor, People and Nature, Valuing Nature Network
Cecily Maller, RMIT, Lead Editor, People and Nature

Meeting Topics

Balancing Multiple Values: Opportunities and challenges
Differences in the way humans conceptualise and value nature arise through diverse disciplinary, theoretical, cultural, and political contexts. In recognition of the varied ways nature is valued, this theme focuses on the tensions, contestations and opportunities occurring when multiple values of nature come into contact, and what, if anything, to do about it. Papers that explore aspects of ethics, governance, disciplinary developments, and the different forms of politics that might be required to balance or accept multiple nature values, are particularly encouraged. In the environmental sciences this has been an area of active research for the last few decades, resulting in a range of mathematical models and tools aimed at examining the consequences of land management choices on environmental or cultural resources, exploring the trade-offs that result. Papers that explore the challenges of blending quantitative approaches with qualitative values, for instance through deliberation and participation, and drawing on interdisciplinary approaches are also of key interest. In focusing on the dynamics of balancing multiple values of nature in a range of contexts, the session aims to generate ways forward regarding how and when multiple values might usefully and respectfully be brought together.

Confirmed Speakers:

Isabelle Anguelovski       Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice & Sustainability
Gretchen Daily                 Stanford University
Jasper Kenter                   University of York

Values in action: Exploring processes of change and transformation
How do values linked to the natural world relate to wider processes of change and transformation in social-ecological systems? A long standing and persistent thread of sustainability and resilience discourse is concerned with the relationship between values and action, and indeed, much has been written about the challenge of variously translating, communicating and embedding affirmative visions and mandates for nature into the messy world of practice. Relational approaches to people and nature encourage us to explore the practical contexts in which values take shape and exert influence, be that through the institutions we build, the landscapes we plan, the businesses we create, or the communities we grow. In this session, we invite consideration of the many and diverse ways values are fostered, enacted and enabled, but also impeded, as they move through different sites and arena of state and civil society action.

Confirmed Speakers:

Cecily Maller             RMIT
Rosie Hails                National Trust
Toby Park                  Behavioural Insights Team
Cheryl Willis             Natural England

Beyond the Usual Suspects: Finding Diverse Support for Nature Protection
Globally many populations are becoming increasingly detached from nature, as the populations become more urbanized and indoor recreation displaces outdoor recreation. Interaction with the wild is now no longer necessary, normal, or possible for many people. These changing relationships with nature have dealt a blow to conservation, as evidenced by the shrinking and aging memberships of many Conservation NGOs. To reverse this trend and expand the base of conservation beyond the mostly-white, educated core, conservationists must utilize new methods that engage with a changing public. This symposium will showcase diverse ways that conservation practitioners have successfully motivated a new cadre of conservationists in novel ways in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. It will also explore the emerging values research that underpins such engagement—research that addresses and integrates values, identity, finance, motivations and inclusion in a sustainability context. Collectively, the symposium will elucidate how and why engagement techniques have evolved from those used in recruiting the ‘old guard’ of conservation. By embracing novel motivations and approaches, perhaps conservation can become more inclusive, imaginative, and successful.

Confirmed Speakers:

Kai Chan                   University of British Colombia
Rob Fish                    University of Kent
Rachelle Gould         University of Vermont

The Valuing Nature Programme

This is a 5 year £7M research programme which aims to improve understanding of the value of nature both in economic and non-economic terms, and improve the use of these valuations in decision making. It funds interdisciplinary research and builds links between researchers and people who make decisions that affect nature in business, policy-making and in practice. The Valuing Nature Programme is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.