22 April 2017
David Attenborough Building, Cambridge, UK

Given the crisis facing nature, it is all too easy to give up hope. Yet, around the globe we are winning the fight to protect the natural world. Deforestation is slowing down. Wetlands are being rebuilt. Numbers of some of our rarest creatures are on the rise. People are making this change happen. Stand with us on Earth Day 2017 to celebrate what is working and why. Discover how every one of us can become more involved in the fight to protect the natural world as we join hands with people in Cambridge, Washington, London, Helsinki and Panama in a global movement of #EarthOptimism.

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The day will be filled with inspiring talks by leading conservationists, popular naturalists, and celebrity figures ... more

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Conservation cannot succeed through experts alone. Your support and the decisions you make about your day-to-day ... more

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#EarthOptimism Cambridge is just one of a series of events taking place around the world on Earth Day 2017. Have a ... more

Programme: Stories of Hope

The day will be filled with inspiring talks by leading conservationists, popular naturalists, and celebrity figures. We will find out what is happening in the Cambridgeshire countryside and in pioneering British schools, and we will journey from the Amazon to Madagascar’s mangroves. Our experts will explain how people are bringing critically endangered species back from the brink, restoring forests and removing waste from our oceans.

All talks will take place in the Babbage Lecture Theatre in the David Attenborough Building, Cambridge. Attendance at the talks is free but booking is required. Links to the Eventbrite booking site are included in the Stories of Hope programme, below.

Session 1: Conservation and the real world

Time Talk title Speaker
10:00-11:00 Conservation and the real world Dr Jane Goodall DBE
More fun, less stuff Professor Tim Jackson
How the incredible power of plants can save the world Sebastian Pole
Hope for the Critically Endangered slippery frog David Amaning Kwarteng

Session 2: Conservation campaigns

Time Talk title Speaker
11:10-12:00 Fighting to win - protecting nature and the countryside Dame Fiona Reynolds
Fish Forever in the Philippines - replicating a solution that works Jose Ambrocio
Saving the albatross Cleo Small
Building capacity for gorilla conservation in Cameroon Mbunya Francis Nkemnyi

Session 3: Conservation & communities

Time Talk title Speaker
14:00-14:50 Recovering and reconnecting with the Essex oyster Dr Philine zu Ermgassen & William Baker
How to become a naturalist - a lesson in biodiversity education Dr Dan Danahar
Engaging people in recording wildlife Professor Helen Roy
Conservation education in Madagascar Rio Heriniaina

Session 4: Special places

Time Talk title Speaker
15:00-16:05 How Brazil slowed Amazon deforestation by 80% in 10 years Francisco Oliveira
A blue sort of green: the surge in marine protection Dr Mark Spalding
The Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project Paul Eaves
Fenland restoration Brian Eversham
Living with jaguars: an example of co-existence in Colombia Carolina Soto-Vargas

Session 5: Saving species

Time Talk title Speaker
17:00-17:55 Is conservation making the world a better place? Mike Hoffmann
Reclaiming South Georgia Professor Tony Martin
Bringing birds back from the brink Dr Debbie Pain
Closing address Sir David Attenborough

Session 6: Evening plenary

Time Talk title Speaker
18:00-19:00 Human progress and Enlightenment environmentalism Professor Steven Pinker

Solutions Fair: where you can make a difference

Conservation cannot succeed through experts alone. Your support and the decisions you make about your day-to-day lives are critical for success. At the Solutions Fair, part of #EarthOptimism Cambridge, will be a dynamic, interactive series of stands, activities and events for all ages, providing information about the choices everyone can make in their lives to take positive actions for the planet.

The Fair is divided into four zones: 'Going Wild'; 'Buying Smart'; 'Eating Well'; and 'Bright Ideas', along with a venue dedicated to pop-up speakers, storytelling and performance. The Fair will take place in and around the David Attenborough Building on Saturday 22 April, between 10:00-17:00.

Connect with us

#EarthOptimism Cambridge is just one of a series of events taking place around the world on Earth Day 2017. Have a look at the sister events happening in Washington, Helsinki and London.