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11 APR 2024 (THU) 15:30-17:00

Distinguished Seminar Series in Geography and Sustainable Development

Integrating Natural Capital into Policy & Finance for Transformation in China

Date: 11 APR 2024 (Thursday)

Time: 15:30-17:00 (HKT)

Language: Putonghua

Mode: Hybrid Mode

Venue: Chamber, Faculty of Social Sciences, 11/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Zoom: Zoom link will be provided upon successful registration



The assessment of ecosystem services is crucial in revealing the benefits ecosystems offer for human well-being. It also aids in the innovation of ecological protection policies and ecosystem management approaches, which are currently at the forefront of both domestic and international ecological research. This report will delve into emerging trends in ecosystem service research and showcase China's experience in evaluating ecosystem services. Furthermore, it will discuss their applications in various areas, including ecological functional zoning, ecological protection redlines, ecological compensation mechanisms, national park planning, and the implementation of mechanisms to realize the value of ecological products.

Professor Zhiyun OUYANG

Director, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Zhiyun Ouyang is an ecologist recognized for his work on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and natural capital, and for advancing pioneering, science-based policies for sustainable development. He was born and raised in Youxian County, Hunan Province. He received his B.S. in agronomy from Hunan Agricultural University in 1983, his M.S. in systems ecology from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1990, and his PhD in ecology from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1993. He then joined the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he is now the director (2017-). He is also the President of the Ecological Society of China (2018-). He has published over 600 scientific articles and 12 books. His honors include: Second Class National Science and Technology Advancement Award for "Social-Economic-Natural Complex Ecosystems" (2007); Second Class National Science and Technology Advancement Award for "National Ecosystem Service Zoning" (2012); Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize of Chinese Academy of Sciences for "Research Group on Ecosystem Services" (2016). He was elected as an international member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2022.

Zhiyun Ouyang's research focuses on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and natural capital, including biophysical as well as finance, policy, and management dimensions across urban, rural, and natural systems. He developed new approaches and tools to quantify the spatial distribution, flow, and value of ecosystem services. He led the National Ecosystem Assessment and Ecosystem Services Mapping in China, identifying the critical regions for ecosystem services at the national scale. His work has underpinned innovation in China's ecological protection policies, including key ecological function conservation areas (EFCAs) of the country; ecological protection red line planning; and new systems of national parks. His work is a key basis for investments in improving both natural capital and human well-being, such as through ecological financial transfer payments (ETPs), which have benefited hundreds of millions of rural people living in ecologically important areas. He has pioneered a new metric, Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP), to evaluate nature's contributions to people, and to track the performance of policies designed to secure people and nature. GEP is now widely used in China, has been adopted as an accounting indicator for valuation of ecosystem asset and services by the United Nations Statistical Commission, and is being adopted by other countries.



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