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Dragon Capital to co-fund new Chair at University of Exeter

Released at: 08:23, 07/07/2019

Dragon Capital to co-fund new Chair at University of Exeter

Photo: Dragon Capital

"Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics" established at UK university.

by Hong Nhung

Dragon Capital recently announced the creation of the “Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics” at the University of Exeter in the UK.

Over the next five years, Dragon Capital and the university will together commit over $2 million to fund the new position, which will look to address the central question of whether there is any correlation between biodiversity and the success of the economy and whether individuals and organizations can, and should, place an economic value on biodiversity.

The research will bridge and unite both economics and ecology to improve understanding of their interdependency and identify strategies that are both positive for biodiversity and provide incentives for action by business and individuals.

As part of the program, the Chair will develop a platform for biodiversity initiatives to advance price measurements of biodiversity, providing incentives for businesses to enter the market to provide a diverse range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) offerings for market participants, for example biodiversity conservation initiatives.

The international program will cover both developed and developing countries, with a particular interest in the UK and in Asia (especially Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan). The research will also influence intergovernmental bodies such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on the design of economic incentives that allow businesses to pursue biodiversity investments legitimately while upholding fiduciary duties.

“How can markets price the absence of birdsong? How much are people willing to pay to maintain the existence of, or be compensated for the loss of, biodiversity in all its forms?” asked Mr. Dominic Scriven, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Dragon Capital.

“It has never been more important for businesses and individuals to understand the impact they are having on society, to ensure the conservation of our planet. We regard sustainable development as a fundamental aspect of business management, and it is core to our values at Dragon Capital. We are therefore delighted to be making this combined commitment and look forward to working with the University of Exeter to find answers to the key questions that too few people are asking.”

“Dragon Capital’s donation is a visionary act of philanthropy,” said Lord Myners of Truro, Chancellor of the University of Exeter. “Our combined investment will concentrate resources into an important area where economics meets ecology. The Dragon Capital Chair will encourage market behaviors that foster the preservation of the natural environment.”

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