UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Indigenous Environmental History and Its Relevance to Future Prosperity

10 March 2022, 4:30 pm–6:00 pm

Natural prosperity

The IGP welcomes Prof. Joy Porter (University of Hull) for a Director's Seminar

This event is free.

Event Information

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Institute for Global Prosperity

The world is grappling with a number of widespread and indeterminate risks that we ourselves created. Perhaps the most fundamental risk to our wellbeing as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds is Natural Producer Extinction- the irreversible loss of ecosystem services as a result of human consumption levels and numbers.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, since 1970, there has been a 68% decline in birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and fish. It is thought that a sixth mass extinction is now occurring on earth. According to UN estimates, a quarter of all species are set to disappear, many within decades.  

Indigenous peoples have a central role to play and profound lessons to share as the world tackles “wicked” problems of this sort. Indigenous peoples safeguard 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity and occupy or use a quarter of the world’s surface area. The challenge of addressing Indigenous land and resource claims and upholding existing tenure rights is key to achieving biodiversity objectives on about a third of the Global Safety Net- the estimated total land area we need to protect in order to offset the repercussions of climate change. As this lecture will show, the vital work of helping to restore global biodiversity is just one aspect of many lessons available from a resurgent and inherently diverse Indigenous world.

The Speaker: 

Joy Porter, Professor of Indigenous & Environmental History, Co-PI of the Treatied Spaces Research Group, University of Hull

Professor Joy Porter is an interdisciplinary researcher of indigenous history in relation to the environment, war, modernity, and culture. She is Principal Investigator within the Treatied Spaces Research Group (treatiedspaces.com) at the University of Hull which manages over 2.3M in external research grants. She works closely with UoH's Energy & Environment Institute and the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery & Emancipation. She is PI Host for British Academy Global Professor Gregory Smithers, 2020-2024, working on "Native Ecologies: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Climate Change".