The Sibthorp Trust

keeping environment on the agenda

The Sibthorp Trust was set up as a consequence of a bequest in the will of Miss Mary Sibthorp in 1991 and is managed by a Board of Trustees in association with IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and its UK National Committee.

Mary Sibthorp was a remarkable woman who was Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies and greatly concerned with the wise use of natural resources and their international dimensions. A specific aim of the Trust is to promote the study and discussion of key environmental issues through the commissioning of workshops, seminars or study groups and to publish the results of such activities as the ‘Sibthorp Papers’.

The Trust has organised and part-funded four Sibthorp Seminars to date (1996, 2000, 2007 and 2011). In particular, the output of the First Sibthorp Seminar has played a key role in advancing the thinking on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Specifically the seminar and subsequent publication “Ecosystem Management: Questions for Science and Society” has been a major contribution to the elaboration of the ecosystem approach as the framework for implementation of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The subsequent work of the Trust has continued to build on this and related themes, in particular its most recent report ‘The Ecosystem Approach – guidance for 2020 and beyond‘. (Citation: Edward Maltby, Michael Acreman (2018). The Ecosystem Approach guidance for 2020 and beyond. The Sibthorp Trust). This document is the result of one of the Sibthorp Seminars and provides 20 recommendations as further guidelines for the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach.

Previous activity

In 2018 the report identifying 20 new points of guidance on the Ecosystem Approach was produced. You can see the report HERE. A paper on this was presented at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress and you can hear an audio version of the presentation here.

In 2016 we held the first post-referendum public debate on the future of environmental policy in the UK following the vote to leave the European Union, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby. A video of the conference can be found here Follow this link to view some of the conversations from the conference.

Get in Touch

The Sibthorp Trust
The Sibthorp Secretariat is based near Cambridge in the UK. To get in touch you can contact Chris Mahon at or message 07860 856952

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