The English city of Leicester has set out its stall as a leader in environmental communication, winning a major conference expected to bring more than 350 experts in the field to the city in 2017.

The four-day Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) will be held in the Midlands city 29 June – 2 July next year, with the aim of fostering effective and inspiring communication that alleviates environmental issues and conflicts. It will be themed Democracy, Borders and Public/Political Engagement: Challenges for Environmental Communication.

The biennial COCE, run by the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), will be hosted by the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester. The department has a long-time and long-term commitment to environmental awareness, research and education. It has dedicated research groups to both environmental and science communication and sustainable development communication. One of the first edited collections to address the roles of media and communication in relation to environmental issues emerged from the university in the early 1990s. The University has recently updated its Environmental Sustainability Strategy (2015-2020), embedding it into the heart of what it teaches and researches.

Anders Hansen, conference chair, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, said: “We are honoured to have been chosen to host the prestigious 2017 Conference on Communication and Environment, which brings together leading international environmental communication scholars and practitioners from around the world. We are proud of the University of Leicester’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and we shall be putting environmental considerations at the forefront of planning for COCE 2017.”

Leicester itself was designated Britain’s first Environment City in 2000 in recognition of its work to promote sustainability. Internationally, Leicester is at the forefront of urban nature conservation and sustainable development thanks to its miles of green painted cycle ways, and promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, organic produce, and the protection of wildlife and green spaces. The showpiece of Leicester’s environmental awareness programme is the Eco House at Western Park, a demonstration centre offering advice on making homes friendlier to the earth. It includes a show house, a large organic garden and a shop selling environmentally-friendly goods.

Martin Peters, CEO of Leicester Shire Promotions, added: “We continue to work closely with venue partners such as the University of Leicester to attract national and international conferences and events to the city and county. COCE 2017 will bring a focus on promoting green spaces, sustainability and recycling, and we look forward to working with the IECA and the University of Leicester to successfully support the conference.”

(via AMI and IECA)

Featured image: University of Leicester