Stanley Johnson has been a trustee of the Earthwatch Institute and Plantlife International and an environmental adviser to Jupiter Asset Management. He is currently a trustee of the Gorilla Organisation and an Ambassador for the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species. Stanley has had ten books published dealing with environmental issues, including the Politics of the Environment, the Earth Summit and the Environmental Policy of the European Communities. In 1984 he was awarded the Greenpeace Prize for Outstanding Services to the Environment.
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up on an Exmoor hill-farm, in the South-West of England (my parents bought it in 1951), and I still have that farm today.
2. How did a sense of environmental sustainability come into your life?
Growing up in the heart of Exmoor National Park.
3. Which long standing sustainability practice or habit has significantly improved your life?
We have avoided intensive farming systems. Pastures are rain-fed. When I am in London, I ride a bicycle.
4. Is there a new one you are cultivating now?
Less meat, more vegetables. I am becoming quite a fan of lettuce salads for lunch.
5. Which environment- or nature-oriented podcast would you recommend and why?
Patrick Holden’s podcast sustainablefoodtrust.org/key-issues/the-sustainable-food-trust-podcast/
6. Which book would you recommend to people who want to be more environmentally conscious and “become the change they want to see in the world” (Ghandi)?
Barbara Ward’s Only One Earth which was specially commissioned by the United Nations for the world’s first international environment conference held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1972
7. Whose environmental or conservation work do you most admire?
Sir David Attenborough, and before him Sir Peter Scott, who was one of the founders of the World Wildlife Fund.
8. Which internet resource would you recommend that you find consistently helpful and beneficial?
ENN Daily Newsletter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
9. Is there anything you try to keep in mind each day with regard to environmental sustainability?
Do better. Practice what you preach. Don’t take the car, when you can get on a bike.
10. Which environmental change would you most like the next generation to experience?
Recapture the sense of wildness and wilderness.
11. What is the best advice you ever had on sustainability or the environment, and who gave it to you?
Professor Paul Ehrlich with his book Population, Resources, Environment
12. What is the best way to captivate the next generation on the topic of sustainability?
Explain the links between biodiversity and climate change. Save nature and you can save the world.
13. Which current sustainability stories give you the most hope?
Efforts made by Rewilding Europe to bring back wilderness and threatened species, e.g. wolves, bears and lynx rewildingeurope.com/
14. Which aspect of nature, or which animal, gives you the greatest sense of awe?
Seeing a score of blue whales in the Sea of Cortes, Baja California.
15. What was the most impactful, transformative or enriching travel experience of your life so far, and why?
Visiting Antarctica in 1984 as the guest of the British Antarctic Survey. Wrote a book Antarctica: The Last Great Wilderness.
16. Where will you be going next on your travels?
Bwindi, Uganda to revisit the mountain gorillas. I am Hon. President of The Gorilla Organization.
17. What are your favourite two Sustainable Development Goals and why?
Numbers 14 and 15.