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20th Richard Jones Memorial Lecture

How We Got Here... and the Pathway to Sustainability

The 20th Richard Jones Memorial Lecture, 8th November 2011 

Be inspired by ecological film-maker John D. Liu's vision of a new era in human evolution in which all forests, wetlands, grasslands, coastal regions and oceans are restored to near pristine conditions.
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The 20th Richard Jones Memorial Lecture, "How We Got Here... and the Pathway to Sustainability", was delivered by film maker and ecologist John D. Liu.

John looked back at geologic, evolutionary, and human history to see the baseline of how we got to where we were.  He then explored what we understood about hydrology, fertility, natural regulation of weather and climate, long term evolutionary trends and how to align human society and economy with these forces to envision a development trajectory that ensures that all forests, wetlands, grasslands, coastal regions, oceans will eventually be restored to near pristine conditions.

The lecture took a species approach and a global perspective.  It featured video from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America.

The entire lecture was evidence and solutions based; describing a vision of a new era in human evolution that seemed to be dawning.  John presented the beginnings of a process that removes the perverse incentive to degrade ecosystem function and addresses ancient mistakes.  This was based on analysis of relative values and required the audience and humanity to see and be the change that is required.

Before (1995) and After (2009) restoration... Hou Jia Gou, Shaanxi, Loess Plateau, China

Bio: John D. Liu

John D Liu is an American who has lived in China for more than 30 years. Mr Liu helped to open the CBS News bureau in Beijing at the time of normalisation of relations between the U.S. and China. He also worked as a photo-journalist for Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI Italian Television) and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF German Television).

Since the mid-1990's Mr Liu has concentrated on ecological film making and has written, produced and directed films on Grasslands, Deserts, Wetlands, Oceans, Rivers, Urban Development, Atmosphere, Forests, Endangered Animals, Poverty Reductions primarily for EARTH REPORT and LIFE series on the BBC World. In 2003, Mr Liu wrote, produced and directed "Jane Goodall - China Diary" for National Geographic. In 2009, Mr. Liu presented “Hope in a Changing Climate” a film that has won many awards, been shown around the world and translated into several languages.

Since 1997 Mr Liu has directed the Environmental Education Media Project, which uses television to deliver ecological, sustainable development and public health messages in China and other countries. Mr Liu was also the driving force in the creation and development of the China Environment and Sustainable Development Reference Centre, the China HIV/AIDS Information Network (CHAIN), and the Environmental Education Media Project (Mongolia).

Mr Liu is a foreign expert at the International Cultural Exchange Audio/Visual Publishing House, in 2006 Mr. Liu was named the Rothamsted International Fellow for the Communication of Science by the Rothamsted Research Institute. Mr Liu has held Fellowships in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of the West of England (UWE) and is a PhD candidate at the University of Reading in the UK. Mr. Liu is currently a Senior Research Fellow at IUCN and working with various development agencies including the World Bank, DFID, and various parts of the United Nations, filming and communicating around the world on "Integrated Poverty Eradication and Large-Scale Ecosystem Rehabilitation".