Issue date: 14 November 2000

Jonathon Porritt is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his outstanding contribution to environmental science and to the public understanding of related issues.

Jonathon Porritt was born in London and educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Cambridge. He is married and has 2 daughters. He taught in London between 1975 and 1984, during which time he became Head of English and Drama at Burlington Danes School.

Jonathon Porritt’s passion in promoting green and quality of life issues is well known and he has an outstanding and distinguished track record as a broadcaster and environmentalist. He was a candidate for the Ecology Party in the 1977 local elections, and in 1979 stood at the General Election and European Elections. He served as Chairman of the Ecology Party in 1979-1980 and 1982-1984 and stood again as a candidate in the 1983 General Election and 1984 European Elections.

In 1984 Jonathon Porritt became Director of Friends of the Earth, a post he held until 1990 when he presented a BBC television programme ‘Where on earth are we going?’ He has published a number of books dealing with the politics of ecology, to great critical acclaim.

In 1996 Jonathon Porritt founded Forum for the Future, a charity campaigning for solutions to today’s environmental problems, and working closely with business. He is deeply committed to sustainable development and has been particularly influential in persuading the business community to play its part in taking forward the environmental agenda.

A trustee of the World Wild Fund for Nature, UK, Jonathon Porritt is also Vice-President of the Socialist Environment Resources Association and Chairman of the Agricultural Reform Group and the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust. In 1999 he became Chairman of the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development and more recently a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency.

In the year 2000 Millennium Honours List Jonathon Porritt’s achievements were recognised with a CBE.

Jonathon Porritt was appointed in July 2000 to chair the Government’s new Sustainable Development Commission, which will promote sustainable development across all sectors of the economy and seek to build agreement on ways of accelerating progress. He is a firm believer in a partnership approach and in the importance of forging strong links between the private and public sectors and with statutory and voluntary agencies, both locally and nationally.

The honorary degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Applied Sciences in Bristol Cathedral at 11.30 on 15 November.

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