UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Symposium 2014: Stewardship for Planet Earth: Sustainable Resources & Governance

Climate change, unprecedented urbanisation, increasingly transnational flows of people, capital and materials are profoundly challenging a sustainable management of resources.

Stewardship is a way of responding to these challenges by invoking an ethics of responsible planning and management. Its application can be found in many areas of public life: in environmental policy, economics, health, theology, land use, planning & community. At the same time, it assumes a legitimacy to decide, intervene and control. Who decides, and how? How might sustain-able resources be governed and at what level? And what role is there for ethics, culture, business, politics and institutions?

On 6 & 7 November 2014, the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (UCL ISR) & UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction (GCII) hosted a two day conference in London exploring the concept of stewardship for planet earth from a multitude perspectives: multidisciplinarity of research; international value chains and international relations; ethics; experience on the ground and in history and exploring new concepts of governing stewardship. 

Many thanks to all those who attended and contributed to the symposium. The video recording and slides from the two-day programme will be available shortly. 


The conference proceedings brochure containing the full programme from the symposium, as well as biographies for all of our speakers can be downloaded now:


Research Catalyst Grants

As part of this years symposium UCL ISR sought applications for grants of up to £10,000 from UCL staff. The grants are aimed at conducting innovative and cross-disciplinary research that contributes to the debate on Stewardship and the sustainable use of natural resources. The scheme will support five research projects from across UCL. 

2014 grant winners

Congratulations to the winners of the UCL ISR/UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction (GCII) Research Catalyst Grant call. 

The call sought applications for grants of up to £10,000 from UCL staff, as part of the 2014 ‘Stewardship for Planet Earth: Sustainable Resources & Governance – Evidence, Challenges and Solutions’ symposium.

Catalyst Grants are aimed at enabling UCL researchers to develop realistic and relevant research partnerships across disciplines, and research strategies with the potential for significant national or international impact. 

The scheme will support the following five research projects from across UCL. Grant winners will have the opportunity to present the findings of the research at the November Symposium.

Project TitleProject LeadUCL Department
Food versus Fuel: beyond biofuelsDr Julia Tomei UCL-Energy/UCL ISR 
Impact of Cultural & Political Perspectives in the Management of Natural Resources: the Case of the Chinese Emission Trading Pilot SchemesDr Paolo AgnolucciUCL ISR
Between Green & Blue: New Models Of Stewardship & Sustainability For Shellfish In The Intertidal Zone: Thames EstuaryDr Caroline GarawayUCL Anthropology
Closing the loop - translating best practice across regional cultures Dr Joanna WilliamsBartlett School of Planning
Environmental & System Stewardship for Greenland’s Rare Earth ElementsBeverley GibbsUCL STEaPP  


Symposium 2014 outcomes


Exploring Geopolitics of Energy Resource Use, Trade and Security by Dr Catalina Spataru, UCL Energy Institute

Institutions and the governance of the resources nexus: the case of nitrogen fertilisers in China by Dr Philip Andrews-Speed, University of Singapore

Liberia’s Post Conflict Experience with Natural Resource Management by Rajkumar Mayank Singh, Overseas Development Institute

Unsustainable, but how long is long enough for a secure supply? The case for deep groundwater development in Bangladesh by Dr William Burgess, UCL Earth Sciences

New approaches to stewardship in the privately-owned rangelands of the Mara, Kenya by Claire Bedelian, UCL Anthropology

Collaborative Stewardship Lessons Learned and Adaption Challenges by Darien Simon, UCL Australia

Corporate Social Responsibility in the mining industry by Dr Oliver Heidrich, Newcastle University

Anthropocene futures and planetary stewardship by Professor Frans Berkhout, Kings College London

Stewardship for Planet Earth: Challenges and Opportunities in a World Hooked on Growth by Professor Kevin Urama, Quantum Global Research Lab

‘Bigger Cakes with Less Ingredients?' A Comparison of Material Use of the World Economy by Frank Pothen, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

International Oil Prices and Conflict in Oil Producing Countries by Nando Lewis, UCL Political Science

The challenge to measure regional sink constraints by Ulrich Kral, Vienna University of Technology

Resource use – are we talking about the right thing? Dr Volker Zepf, University of Augsburg


Professor Michelle Baddeley, Professor in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment, The Bartlett School of Const & Proj Mgt, UCL

Dr Graham Woodgate, Principal Teaching Fellow, UCL Institute of the Americas

Dr Mohammad Shamsudduha, Research Associate, Inst for Risk & Disaster Reduction, Department of Earth Sciences, UCL

Dr Jerome Lewis, Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, UCL

Dr Philip Andrews-Speed, Principal Fellow & Head, Energy Security Division, National University of Singapore

Dr William Burgess, Senior Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, UCL

Rajkumar Mayank Singh, Fellow, Overseas Development Institute

Dr Catalina Spataru, Senior Research Associate, UCL Energy Institute

Dr Marc Brightman, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, UCL

Dr Darien Simon, Research Associate International Energy Policy Institute, UCL Austrailia

Professor Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society and Climate, Kings College London

Professor Kevin Chika Urama, Executive Director, African Technology Policy Studies Network

Mr Frank Pothen, Researcher, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Dr Ulrich Kral, Postdoc Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology

Mr Nando Lewis, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Political Science, UCL

Dr Volker Zepf, Chair of Resource Strategy, University of Augsburg

Professor Dan Osborn, Professor of Human Ecology, Department of Earth Sciences, UCL

Dr Oliver Heidrich, Senior Researcher, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive, Marine Stewardship Council

Steering group

Many thanks to the steering group committee and additional staff from across UCL for their contribution, overall guidance and feedback.

  • Prof Raimund Bleischwitz, UCL ISR
  • Prof Elizabeth Graham, UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • Professor Maria Wyke, UCL Centre for Research on the Dynamics of Civilisation 
  • Professor Georgina Mace, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research 
  • Professor Michael Rowlands, UCL Anthropology 
  • Prof Peter Jones, Dept of Civil, Environ & Geomatic Engineering 
  • Dr Caroline Garaway, UCL Anthropology 
  • Dr Liza Griffin, Development Planning Unit 
  • Dr Manuel Arroyo-Kalin, UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • Dr Darien Simon, UCL Australia
  • Dr Yijie Zhuang, UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • Dr Vivienne Lo, UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity 
  • Dr Adrianna Allen, Development Planning Unit 
  • Dr Lou Atkins, UCL Centre for Behaviour Change
  • Dr Julia Tomei, UCL ISR 
  • Dr Charlotte Johnson, UCL ISR 
  • Alison Parker, UCL ISR
  • Kiran Dhillon, UCL ISR
  • Katherine Welch, UCL ISR
  • Dr Ian Scott, GCII
  • Dr Francois Guesnet, GCII 
  • Dr James Paskins, GCSC 
  • Michael Reade, GCII