Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 12:30 to 13:30

Digital Earth: Preliminary thoughts on an evolving digital conservation research and policy agenda

Environmental governance is on the cusp of a new era: dynamic and digital. Dr. Karen Bakker (Professor, UBC Department of Geography and Canada Research Chair in Political Eocology) will present preliminary findings from a meta-review of the environmental governance implications of recent innovations in digital technologies, including hardware (drones, satellites, environmental sensor networks, IoT), software (distributed ledger technology, machine learning), and data analytics.

Specifically, she will explore three potential implications for environmental governance: real-time regulation, predictive management, and mobile protected areas. Bakker will also present an overview of her recent applied policy work with UNEP on a ‘digital ecosystem for Earth’, which maps out key priorities for global governance of digital environmental data, and associated multilateral processes. She will conclude with a discussion of challenges related to privacy, security, and surveillance capitalism.

Dr. Karen Bakker is a Professor, Canada Research Chair, and founding co-Director of the Program on Water Governance at UBC. She interdisciplinary research focuses on water and environmental governance issues. She is the author of more than 100 academic publications, including articles in Science and Global Environmental Change. She has been an invited speaker at Oxford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford. A Trudeau Foundation Fellow and Royal Society member, she obtained her PhD from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She is a member of the Board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Website / UBC Department of Geography Profile