Prof. Hugh Possingham in Sapienza

On 13th of May, the Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy(TNC), Prof. Hugh Possingham gave a talk on “Novel Conservation science and economics that drives outcomes for The Nature Conservancy” at the Department of Biology and Biotechnologies in Sapienza University of Rome. Prof. Possingham kicked off the session by introducing TNC. He then highlighted the role of mathematics, economics and decision science in conservation. The students also got to know about the famous decision science software Marxan from the inventor himself. The talk then progressed towards some of the projects implemented by TNC. “Debt for nature swaps” was one of the fascinating projects implemented by TNC where a country’s debt was paid by TNC in exchange for commitments to protect nature. In another project called “Reverse Auction”, the farmers were actually given money to leave water in their farms during the winter for the birds. He also talked about the projects which harnessed the potential of geospatial and decision science tools for protecting nature. Development of conservation plan in Mongolia using Marxan, action maps for pollution were some of the examples of such projects. The talk was followed by a short and lively question/answer session.